Archive for the ‘Islamic radicalization’ category

Rethinking “Radicalization”: Dutch Researcher Discusses What Makes a Homegrown Terrorist

December 26, 2017

Rethinking “Radicalization”: Dutch Researcher Discusses What Makes a Homegrown Terrorist, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Abigail R. Esman, December 26, 2017

(Terrorism is obviously bad and we need to do our best to prevent it. However, my principal concern is about political Islam, aka Islamism. Islamists often do not need to engage in terrorism; they can rely instead on whatever democratic processes are available to Islamise nations. Look at Canada, for example. “Islamophobia” laws restrict free speech about Islam and its anti-democracy, pro-theocracy tendencies. In America, CAIR fights “Islamophobia” as well as organizations which want Muslims to respect American law. Here’s video on America and Sharia law.

(– DM)

On Nov. 2, 2004, Dutch filmmaker and writer Theo van Gogh left his home and set off to work, riding his bicycle as he did most days through the quiet streets of Amsterdam.

Minutes later, 26-year-old Mohammed Bouyeri, a Dutch-Moroccan Muslim angered by van Gogh’s writings and films about radical Islam, fired eight shots at the filmmaker. As Van Gogh stumbled, Bouyeri shot again, then stabbed him with a butcher knife, piercing straight through his chest. Then he sliced across Theo van Gogh’s throat in a failed effort to decapitate him before stabbing him one final time. It was, as many later said, the country’s 9/11, the arrival of Islamist terrorism to the tranquil tulip fields and calm canals of the Netherlands.

Mohammed Bouyeri acted alone, but he was a leading member of what later became known as the Hofstadgroep (Hofstad Group), a loosely-knit circle of Dutch Muslim youth from Amsterdam and The Hague with extremist ideas and half-hatched plans to execute terrorist attacks around the country. In the days following Van Gogh’s death, police raided a home in The Hague, arresting seven Hofstadgroep members after a standoff lasting several hours.

Their trials, and the trials of other members, have shaped much of the Dutch understanding of Islamist terrorism both for citizens and law enforcement. Above all, the cases showed definitively that European Muslims could be radicalized, and that even Muslims raised in the West had become a threat.

In fact, as Bart Schuurman, a research Fellow at the International Centre for Counterterrorism in The Hague, argues in his upcoming book, Becoming A European Homegrown Terrorist, the Hofstadgroep case ultimately came to define homegrown jihadism in Europe. Thanks, too, to the work of Dutch journalists Janny Groen and Annieke Kranenberg, studies into the women in and around the Hofstadgroep have provided important insights into the radicalization of Muslim women in the West, and their role in homegrown jihad.

For his research, Schuurman spoke with Hofstadgroep members and studied the police interviews with the Hofstadgroep to better understand their actions and thought processes.

On the eve of the publication of his new book, Schuurman talked to the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) about his findings, what they say about the making of a homegrown terrorist, and how his research can help bring new insights to the fight against Islamist terror.

Abigail R. Esman: The Hofstadgroep was limited to the Netherlands, and the group preceded (by over a decade) the rise of ISIS and even social media. How is knowledge about that group still useful for a more global and more contemporary analysis of home-grown terrorism?

Bart Schuurman: The Hofstadgroep is indeed an older case as it was active between 2002 and 2005. As such, it was part of what could be called the first wave of European homegrown jihadism. I argue that insights we can derive from how and why people became involved in the Hofstadgroep are still relevant now for several reasons. First of all, like the current foreign fighter phenomenon, the Hofstadgroep’s extremist inner-circle also initially tried to join jihadist insurgencies overseas. Only when this failed, did some of them begin to consider and plan terrorist attacks in the Netherlands. Secondly, the Hofstadgroep was not a phenomenon unique to the Netherlands, but one example of the broader phenomenon of European homegrown jihadism that is still with us today. While much has changed in terms of context, such as a shift in focus from Afghanistan to Syria, many of the underlying dynamics driving involvement in this type of terrorism remain unaltered. I think that the field of terrorism studies sometimes has the unwarranted tendency to see every development in the terrorist threat as heralding a fundamentally ‘new’ situation to which our previous explanations and theories are of little to no utility. I’d argue it’s exactly the opposite; especially because it’s relatively easier to access high-quality data on older cases, they are a great resource for informing the ongoing debate on what can motivate (and prevent!) people from becoming involved in terrorism.

ARE: Are there any other groups like the Hofstadgroep today, either in the Netherlands or elsewhere?

BS: In ideological terms, the Hofstadgroep could be broadly characterized as driven by an extremist Salafi-Jihadist worldview and focused on waging a ‘defensive’ jihad against what they saw as Western geopolitical aggression and the threat posed by heresy and apostasy. I think it’s safe to say that such views have continued to be embraced by Islamist extremists in the Netherlands and Europe more broadly, although it is difficult to assess the scale on which this has occurred. But it is crucial to distinguish between holding radical or extremist views and becoming involved in any capacity in terrorist violence. The vast majority of radicals never cross this threshold. What I think we see today in Europe is that relatively small numbers of (would-be) jihadist terrorists continue to pose a serious threat and that they are embedded in a broader ‘radical milieu’ from which they draw support. While this threat is a very real one, I think it is important to keep in mind that these individuals and groups are not representative of the Muslim community as a whole. A key observation that we sometimes miss, is that Muslims are in fact the number one victims of groups like [ISIS] and al-Qaeda when we look at the violence in countries like Syria and Iraq.

ARE: What did you learn about the personalities of those likely to join such groups, or to act as lone wolves? (Is there also a similarity between those who join groups and lone wolf attackers?)

BS: Most researchers would agree that there is no such thing as a terrorist profile, at least not one of any practical utility. Most terrorists are relatively young and most are male; beyond that considerably diversity has been observed in terms of socioeconomic background, family obligations etcetera. None of which means that personality factors cannot play a role at all. In fact, things like past involvement in violence or previous socialization to extremist beliefs can be important parts of the explanation for why someone became involved in terrorism. Perhaps the most important thing that I took away from my Hofstadgroep study in terms of the influence of personality factors, is that extremism and terrorism cannot simply be explained as stemming from psychopathology or deprivation. On the whole, group-based terrorists are not driven (primarily) by mental health problems or lack of opportunities to pursue alternative career paths in society. The uncomfortable truth is that, for many of these individuals, involvement in terrorism is a more or less conscious decision. An interesting finding about lone actors is that many of them did not ‘go it alone’ for tactical considerations, but because they failed to join or form a terrorist cell of their own. This may tie into the higher prevalence of mental health problems among lone actor extremists, which can make them appear untrustworthy or simply disagreeable and therefore prevent them from being truly accepted by other extremists.

ARE: Is there a difference between those who join local groups and the lone wolf types who are influenced by ISIS and Al Qaeda? That is to say, do they see the larger terror groups in the same way Hofstadgroep members saw their own group?

BS: Again, while some lone actors (Unabomber, Breivik) make a conscious decision to operate alone, many would have liked to join others but failed to do so. But both lone actors and participants in groups like Hofstad are generally heavily-influenced by the larger radical milieu of which they are a part; taking inspiration from videos, writings, speeches etc. of leading figures and groups.

ARE: You distinguish between radicalization and fanaticism in your work. Can you explain what these are?

BS: I have been critical of the concept of radicalization for a long time. Although it has become a household term since 2004, it doesn’t really explain how and why people become involved in extremism and terrorism. Radicalization suffers from lack of a clear definition and it is inherently subjective. A century ago, those in favor of extending voting rights to women were often labeled radicals by their opponents. Few would (hopefully!) dare make that same argument now. Not only do our views of what is ‘radical’ change over time, but by associating radicalization so closely with terrorism, we have lumped together activists who, although we may disagree with them, are essentially advocating change while remaining within the limits of the liberal democratic order, with individuals and groups committed to the use of extreme violence to get what they want. If that isn’t problematic enough, most interpretations of radicalization continue to overstate the degree to which beliefs influence behavior. Saying someone was ‘radicalized’ prior to committing a terrorist act doesn’t really help us understand that act; there are millions of people with radical or extremist views and the vast majority of them never become involved in terrorism in any way, shape or form. So while extremist beliefs are usually an important component of the overall picture of why people commit terrorism, they are insufficient by themselves to function as an explanation. For that reason, I think we should stop talking about radicalization and instead study the pathways to lead to involvement in terrorism, as this implicitly draws attention to the multitude of factors that constitute such processes. Fanaticism struck me as a more useful concept because, as it was developed by British psychologist Max Taylor, it recognizes that not all ‘fanatics’ will act on their beliefs but stipulates conditions under which they are more likely to do so. “Fanaticism” is thus able to overcome, at least to some degree, “radicalization’s” greatest shortcoming; namely, why the vast majority of radicals never become terrorists.

ARE: Why are fanatics more likely to become violent?

BS: It is more a question of when, rather than why. Fanaticism (or radicalism, if you will) is more likely to actually lead to violence when 1) the beliefs adhered to are distinctly militant; 2) when the fanatic/radical also holds to millenarian views, such as that the apocalypse is nigh and can be hastened by the individual believer; and 3) (to me most importantly) when the radical/fanatic is not exposed to contrarian views that can challenge his/her extremist convictions or inject some grey into a black/white world-view.

ARE: You also indicate that the Hofstadgroep members were less concerned with creating change than with making a statement about their own Islamic identity. In a way, it seems you are saying it was more about themselves than about the world. That’s an interesting perspective for me, because it parallels my own ideas about terrorists being narcissists, and I wonder if this isn’t in fact true of other terrorists and terror groups – not just Islamist. Is this a view or an approach to terrorism we have overlooked? Maybe we’ve been missing the real picture. Or is it some of both?

BS: I am always a bit careful using terms like narcissism because people can then be quick to pathologize such statements. But there is definitely something interesting going on in terms of identity. A key question for me is always; why would anyone join a terrorist group? The most likely outcomes are death or a life in prison. Now, while jihadists (at least profess to) want to die for their beliefs, terrorism has a much longer and broader history than Islamist extremism alone. There have been many secular terrorist groups who were not keen to go to an afterlife. So, what does terrorism offer that can make some people takes these risks? A large part of the answer lies, I believe, in the attractions of group membership. Things like status within a particular community, the notion of being part of something grandiose and important, the feeling of living an important and exciting life, the comradeship formed under fire, these are key factors binding people to terrorist groups, whether we’re talking about [ISIS], the IRA or the Italian Red Brigades. I think it would be great to delve more deeply into such factors in future research.

ARE: Finally: How can your research help counterterrorism analysts and law enforcement going forward?

BS: I hope that my work will be able make a contribution to the work of counterterrorism policymakers and practitioners in two ways. First of all, by providing a unique primary-sources based account of how and why involvement in a key example of European homegrown jihadist group occurred, I hope to contribute to their subject-matter expertise. More importantly, I hope that my findings will challenge counterterrorism professionals to keep critically re-examining the assumptions about such processes that they use to guide their own work.

Modesto Tow-Truck Driver Planned Christmas Attack on S.F.’s Pier 39, Says FBI

December 23, 2017

Modesto Tow-Truck Driver Planned Christmas Attack on S.F.’s Pier 39, Says FBI, PJ MediaBridget Johnson, December 22, 2017

Tourists and visitors walk through the alleyways of Pier 39 at the Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco on Sept. 14, 2017. (Alexandra Schuler/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

“It’s not true. I don’t know what the FBI are trying to pin on him. I don’t know why,” Gordon Jameson said. “He’s never once talked about bombing anything. He’d never hurt a single person. He’s more of a sweet type of person, a gentle kind of person. He’s a peaceful Muslim person.”

************************************

A tow truck driver with Marine Corps training from California’s San Joaquin Valley is accused of plotting to execute a Christmas attack at Pier 39, a popular tourist spot in San Francisco.

Everitt Aaron Jameson, 26, of Modesto, Calif., was arrested today and brought before a magistrate in Fresno on charges of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. The FBI says he was inspired by the Halloween attack on a Manhattan bike path, and soon after offered his jihadi services.

According to the criminal complaint, Jameson “espoused radical jihadi beliefs, including authoring social media posts that are supportive of terrorism, communicating with people he believes share his jihadi views and offering to provide services to such people, including in the form of his presumably employer-provided tow truck in service of the ’cause.'”

The complaint says Jameson communicated with an undercover FBI employee about “his interest in planning and undertaking a violent attack in San Francisco in support of ISIS” and also talked about providing financial support to jihad.

The FBI was originally tipped off about Jameson because of his pro-ISIS “like” and “love” activity on Facebook. He loved with a heart, for example, a recent posterfrom ISIS supporters showing Santa overlooking Times Square with a box of dynamite at his side.

Everitt Jameson

The source who tipped off the FBI began private messaging with Jameson on Oct. 24, the FBI says. Three days later, Jameson allegedly messaged the FBI source that he was “here to beg to join the cause against darul kuffar [land of disbelievers]. I’m ready.” Asked two days later if he was a convert to Islam, Jameson replied he was and “that is what will make me more useful.”

“I can blend in. Or shock and awe,” Jameson reportedly added, telling the source that he took his shahada — profession of belief — two years ago at the Merced Islamic Center. “I am a tow truck driver. So I can make these services available as well,” he said.

On the day of the Manhattan attack, in which Sayfullo Saipov killed eight people with a rented pickup truck, the FBI says Jameson posted a GIF of a crowd giving a standing ovation next to the story. “I’m glad to know we Muslims are finally hitting back,” he allegedly told the FBI source. “Allahu Akbar! The Kuffar deserve everything and more for the lives they have taken.”

On Nov. 3, Jameson submitted a franchise tow truck driver application with Modesto Police. A few weeks later, FBI agents began surveillance of Jameson at the tow company where he worked. An undercover FBI employee began communicating with Jameson via social media on Dec. 11. “I was a soldier in the Kuffar army before I reverted. I have been trained in combat and things of war. In Sha Allah anything of that nature, as well as funding,” Jameson allegedly offered.

The complaint says Jameson graduated from basic training in the Marine Corps in 2009, earning a sharpshooter qualification. He was discharged from the Marines for fraudulent enlistment, failing to disclose his history of asthma.

The undercover FBI employee, who told Jameson that his boss was ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, met up with Jameson on Dec. 16. The tow truck driver said he’d ready the Anarchist Cookbook and could provide $400 per month of his salary to ISIS. Jameson “stated that we need something along the lines of New York or San Bernardino,” the complaint states, and suggested using a combination vehicle/gun attack on Pier 39 with explosives to funnel crowds into an ambush scenario. Jameson allegedly told his contact that he could carry out the attack this week, and that Christmas was the “perfect day” to launch the assault. He said he planned to be killed during the attack, thus didn’t have an escape plan.

Jameson was told to wait until approval came from al-Baghdadi, the FBI said. He allegedly said he’d “prefer an assault rifle” and could get timers, remote detonators, PVC pipe, nails and powder; he told his contact that he’d go up to a remote campground in the mountains to build the IEDs.

After the meeting, Jameson reportedly wrote a page-and-a-half-long attack claim statement for ISIS. He then sent along photos of Pier 39.

On Monday, an FBI employee accidentally called Jameson’s cell phone from a Washington, D.C., 202 area code, the complaint notes. Jameson answered in Arabic and the FBI employee hung up. Jameson called the number and got the voice mail identifying the name of the FBI employee but not the agency. Later that day, Jameson told the undercover FBI employee that he had “reconsidered” the attack.

On Wednesday, the FBI executed a search warrant on Jameson’s house and reportedly found the ISIS letter he’d written with his chosen nom de guerre: Abdallah Abu Everitt Ibn Gordon Al-Amriki. The letter faulted the U.S. for being a “nationalistic, godless society” that “allowed Donald J Trump to give away Al Quds to the Jews.” He said that the “Lions of Islam” had “penetrated and infiltrated your disgusting country.”

Handguns and a rifle were found at Jameson’s residence, but there were few bullets. During the search, the complaint states, Jameson “stated his support of ISIS and terrorism and discussed aspects of the plan to carry out an attack, noting that he would be happy if an attack was carried out.”

Jameson faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The Modesto Bee reported that Jameson graduated from Enochs High School in 2009, and when he was 16 years old wrote a letter that ran in the newspaper in support of U.S. forces remaining in Iraq. “Say Saddam Hussein did have weapons of mass destruction (which he did; they weren’t put together and could’ve been within days). Would you like to have a maniac who waged biological warfare on his own people to walk around with WMD?,” he wrote. “I don’t know what you were taught, but I was raised to finish something you start, and guess what? It’s not finished yet.”

The suspect’s father, Gordon Jameson, told the Merced Sun-Star that he’s a “devout Pentecostal” and discussed religion with his son, who he says grew up Christian and converted to Islam about a year ago.

“We’d talk about Jesus – not argue, just talk – and he’d say ‘yeah, Dad, we all believe in the same God,'” Gordon Jameson said. “He never once spoke about hate or wanting to hurt anything. He never said anything about wanting to blow people up.”

The dad said family members jokingly called Everitt “ISIS” after he converted. He said Everitt Jameson’s two young children had been permanently taken from him by Child Protective Services; the mother is serving prison time in Chowchilla. “He jumped through every hoop they put up for him to get his kids back,” Gordon Jameson said. “They did him pretty well dirty. A dad doesn’t have much rights to try to get his kids back.” The father said he was concerned his son was suicidal over losing custody of his kids.

“It’s not true. I don’t know what the FBI are trying to pin on him. I don’t know why,” Gordon Jameson said. “He’s never once talked about bombing anything. He’d never hurt a single person. He’s more of a sweet type of person, a gentle kind of person. He’s a peaceful Muslim person.”

I react to the latest attack in NYC near Times Square this morning 12.11.2017

December 12, 2017

I react to the latest attack in NYC near Times Square this morning 12.11.2017, Islamic Forum For Democracy via YouTube

Jailhouse Jihadi: The Intriguing Case of Casey Charles Spain

December 8, 2017

Jailhouse Jihadi: The Intriguing Case of Casey Charles Spain, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Patrick Dunleavy, December 8, 2017

Often what comes out of prison is much worse than what went in. How else do we understand (explain) the case of Casey Charles Spain. He went to jail as a registered sex offender in 2010. Last August, three weeks after his release from a Virginia prison, he was arrested and accused of being a committed jihadist who had sworn allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi and was willing to kill innocent men, women, and children for the cause of ISIS.

He was charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force conducted a sting operation to dupe Spain into thinking he was meeting with an ISIS soldier who would provide him with a weapon necessary to kill American infidels. When investigators approached him, Spain took off running, at one point jumping a fence, as he tried to elude capture.

We are now faced with the question of how someone like Spain became radicalized while incarcerated.

Over the years since 9/11, we have learned that several factors contribute to the radicalization process. The influence of the prison chaplain has been proven to be one. Fifteen years ago, a little known New York state prison official named Warith Deen Umar told an interviewer that the 9/11 hijackers were heroes and that prison was the ideal place for converts to Islam to become jihadists. As the director of Ministerial Services for New York, Umar was responsible for hiring and vetting all Islamic chaplains. He was also a chaplain for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. A subsequent investigation by the Department of Justice’s inspector general found that unvetted Muslim chaplains were a contributing factor in prison radicalization. Also during that time, the for New York State Department of Corrections and the New York Police Department investigated prison radicalization in what was called “Operation Hades.” It uncovered numerous inmates who had been converted to a radical form of Islam that was being taught in prison mosques by both unvetted chaplains and their inmate assistants, some of whom had ties with terrorist organizations such as al-Qaida, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.

One such inmate was Edwin Lorenzo Lemmons. Lemmons was convicted of attempted robbery and sentenced to four years in a New York prison. He converted to Islam while in custody and was appointed the imam chaplain’s assistant. He then enrolled in a prison class to learn Arabic. The inmate instructor was a Jordanian-born inmate who investigators later learned had once pledged bayat (allegiance) to Osama bin Laden and was helping released inmates travel to the Middle East to receive “underground tactical training.” Lemmons was paroled in 1998 with time off for good behavior.

He traveled overseas six months after completing his parole, visiting several Middle Eastern countries including Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia. There, he met with contacts provided to him by the Jordanian inmate. He also enrolled in Egyptian madrassas controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood. During his time abroad, investigators intercepted phone calls from him to a New York prison chaplain’s office, where he was allowed to speak with some of the prisoners. He expressed his commitment to jihad to the inmates, along with his disdain for non-believers. Lemmons returned to the United States from Egypt in September 2003. FBI agents arrested him when the plane touched down in Orlando, and charged him with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Agents saw Lemmons holding an AK-47 at a Melbourne, Fla. shooting range during another visit. He pleaded guilty to the charge and spent three years in federal prison.

Spain’s case mirrors Lemmons’ in many ways – including a prison conversion and a similar firearms charge – but with a more ominous connection. Following his release from federal prison, Lemmons was hired by the Muslim Chaplain Services of Virginia (MCSVA) It is contracted with the Virginia Department of Corrections to provide Muslim chaplains for the prison system. The MCSVA receives some of its funding from the Islamic Relief (IRUSA), an organization that has in the past been suspected of financing terrorists.

Lemmons was thus granted statewide access to Virginia inmates, making regular monthly visits to conduct Jummah services and teach Arabic.

According to Virginia prison records obtained by IPT, Casey Charles Spain was listed to attend Sunni/Jummah services at two facilities where Lemmons taught.

From 2015-2017, Lemmons and Casey Charles Spain were in the Greensville Correctional Center, prison records show, with Spain as an inmate and Lemmons as the chaplain/imam.

The Virginia Department of Corrections policy allowing an ex-inmate to re-enter its facilities to speak to inmates is not the issue. Many ex-offenders have had a positive effect in helping others turn their lives around. But when it comes to terrorism and prison radicalization, however, permitting an inadequately vetted chaplain to minister to the flock is a recipe for disaster.

In June, the Virginia corrections director and operations support manager were informed of Lemmons background by the Investigative Project on Terrorism. They were advised to contact the law enforcement agencies that investigated him in the 2004 terrorism case. The officials said they didn’t know about Lemmons’ background or 2003 arrest.

Casey Charles Spain pleaded guilty Nov. 3 to illegal possession of a firearm and faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in February. We can only hope that when he returns to prison he will not be assigned as a chaplain’s assistant like his mentor Edwin Lemmons. And certainly he should not be allowed to re-enter any prison when he is released to work as a prison imam/chaplain. Otherwise the process of radicalization will then have come full circle again.

Dawa: Sowing the Seeds of Hate

November 4, 2017

Dawa: Sowing the Seeds of Hate, Gatestone InstituteJudith Bergman, November 4, 2017

“In Western countries, dawa aims both to convert non-Muslims to political Islam and to bring about more extreme views among existing Muslims. The ultimate goal of dawa is to destroy the political institutions of a free society and replace them with strict sharia.” — Ayaan Hirsi Ali in her book, The Challenge of Dawa: Political Islam as Ideology and Movement and How to Counter It.

The ultimate goal of establishing an Islamic state in the United States could hardly be much clearer. The pretense of caring for “diversity” and “inclusion” that ICNA displays on its public website cannot be characterized as anything other than an attempt at dissimulation, as is the stated goal of “establishing a place for Islam in America.”

If Western leadership is unable to fathom the danger posed by organizations such as Tablighi Jamaat, iERA and ICNA, and, according to critics, others such as CAIR and ISNA — let alone do something about it, instead of endlessly obsessing over “Islamophobia” — Qaradawi could be proven right.

While the West is preoccupied with fighting “hate speech”, “Islamophobia” and white supremacist groups, it appears more than willing to ignore the cultivation of Muslim hate speech and supremacist attitudes towards non-Muslims.

It is a cultivation that occurs especially in the process of dawa, the Muslim practice of Islamic outreach or proselytizing, the results of which seem to have been on show this week in a downtown New York terror attack. The terrorist, Sayfullo Saipov, originally from Uzbekistan, was apparently only radicalized after he moved to the United States. The mosque he attended in New Jersey had been under surveillance by the NYPD since 2005. A 2016 U.S.-commissioned report said Uzbek nationals were “most likely to radicalize while working as migrants abroad,” according to the U.S. State Department.

On the surface, dawa, or outreach — in person or online — appears to be a benign missionary activity, about converting non-Muslims. Legal in Western societies, it is allowed to proceed undisturbed by the media or government. Dawa generally attracts little attention, except when members of an outreach organization suddenly turn up in the headlines as full-fledged jihadists.

Politicians and the media in the West seem to prefer viewing Islam solely as a religion and not as a political system that, according to critics, seeks to impose its own laws and regulations, sharia, on the world.

According to the Somali-born Muslim dissident and author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, however, in her recent bookThe Challenge of Dawa: Political Islam as Ideology and Movement and How to Counter It:

“The term ‘dawa’ refers to activities carried out by Islamists to win adherents and enlist them in a campaign to impose sharia law on all societies. Dawa is not the Islamic equivalent of religious proselytizing, although it is often disguised as such… [It] includes proselytization, but extends beyond that. In Western countries, dawa aims both to convert non-Muslims to political Islam and to bring about more extreme views among existing Muslims. The ultimate goal of dawa is to destroy the political institutions of a free society and replace them with strict sharia.”

Somali-born Muslim dissident and author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, wrote in her recent book that in the West, the ultimate goal of dawa (the Muslim practice of Islamic outreach or proselytizing) “is to destroy the political institutions of a free society and replace them with strict sharia.” (Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

Presumably, the last thing a society would want are groups that cloak political activity in religious practices, protected under the precepts of freedom of religion.

In the Philippines, recently, members of the dawa organization known as Tablighi Jamaat (“Group that Propagates the Faith”) entered the country under the guise of missionary activity — that they were going to participate in the Tablighi Jamaat’s annual gathering there. It turned out, however, that they had come to wage jihad together with Isnilon Hapilon, the late “emir” of Islamic State in Southeast Asia.

The Tablighi Jamaat has been described by the expert on Islam and journalist, Innes Bowen, in her 2014 book, Medina in Birmingham, Najaf in Trent, as “a Deobandi missionary movement and one of the largest Islamic groups in the UK… it has quietly grown into one of Britain’s most successful Islamic movements. Vast numbers of British Muslims have spent time in its ranks”[1]. However, the Tablighi Jamaat was largely unknown in the UK, until it emerged that several British Muslims charged with terror offences had all spent time[2] in the organization. Among these terrorists were Richard Reid, the “shoe-bomber,” and three of the four perpetrators of the London 7/7 terrorist attacks. The American enemy combatant, John Walker Lindh, who aided the Taliban, was associated with the Tablighi Jamaat; and the San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook prayed in San Bernardino at the Dar al Uloom al Islamiyyah mosque, described as a “haven for Tablighi Jamaat activists.”

The movement, according another expert on Islam, Yoginder Sikand, in his 1998 study of the Tablighi Jamaat , sought “to promote a sense of paranoia and even disgust of non-Muslim society”[3]. He quoted a prominent British promoter of the Tablighi Jamaat as saying:

“a major aim of tabligh is to rescue the ummah [Muslim community] from the culture and civilization of the Jews, Christians and (other) enemies of Islam to create such hatred for their ways as human beings have for urine… and excreta…”.

The Tablighi Jamaat has been described in the Middle East Quarterly, in an article called “Tablighi Jamaat: Jihad’s Stealthy Legions“, as a wolf in sheep’s clothing:

“Tablighi Jamaat is not a monolith: one subsection believes they should pursue jihad through conscience…while a more radical wing advocates jihad through the sword … in practice, all Tablighis preach a creed that is hardly distinguishable from the radical Wahhabi-Salafi jihadist ideology that so many terrorists share”.

Nevertheless, Tablighi Jamaat remains a legal, active organization, which yields a considerable influence over Muslims in Europe, especially the UK and the United States. Already in 2003, the deputy chief of the FBI’s international terrorism section, Michael J. Heimbach, said, “We have a significant presence of Tablighi Jamaat in the United States and we have found that Al-Qaeda used them for recruiting now and in the past.” One 2011 undercover video segment from the Darul Ulum Islamic High School in Birmingham, England, associated with the Tablighi Jamaat, showed that Muslim children were taught Muslim supremacy. Eleven year olds were taught that Hindus “have no intellect” and “drink cow piss”. The teacher also said, “You are not like the non-Muslims out there… All that evil that you see in the streets… people not wearing Hijab properly, people smoking… you should hate it…” The children were also told:

“You need to free yourself from the influence of the Shaitan [Satan] and of society… The Kuffar [derogatory term for non-Muslims] have brought so many new things out there…They are controlling your minds… Are you part of those who prefer their way of life: The way of the Kuffar over the way of the Prophet?”

Both US and Dutch intelligence once seemed aware of the imminent danger of dawa organizations. In 2004, a Dutch government report identified threats to Dutch society from the practice of dawa and concluded that an “interaction or even interwovenness of Dawa and Jihad demonstrate the relationship between the various forms of radical Islam and the phenomenon of radical-Islamic terrorism.”

The study also distinguished various kinds of dawa, both overt and covert, and the threats emanating from it:

“Dawa may be aimed at trying to convince Muslim communities that non-Muslim communities are hostile towards Islam and wish to oppress or even destroy it. Dawa may also serve to convince Muslim communities that the values and standards of non-Muslims are incompatible with those of Islam and should therefore be considered as depraved. In such a form of Dawa, Muslim communities are often encouraged to emphasise (in a provocative way) the differences with other groups and sometimes also to express their contempt and hatred towards standards and values and the culture of non-Muslims”.

It would appear that Western governments have largely unlearned — at least officially — these insights into dawa as a tool for fostering feelings of Muslim supremacy and hatred of non-Muslims. Instead, they engage in endless, misguided obsessions over “Islamophobia.” Their unlearning should be a cause for concern.

Other dawa organizations also operate in the West. One is the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA), led by two converts, Abdur Raheem Green and Hamza Andreas Tzortis, that works globally to spread Islam. Unlike the Tablighi Jamaat, it focuses its missionary efforts on non-Muslims. Its leaders have made racist, supremacist and anti-democratic statements such as, again, calling non-Muslims, “kuffars.” Green has said that, “The purpose of the jizya [protection money, or “tax”, paid by non-Muslims to Muslims] is to make the Jew and the Christian know that they are inferior and subjugated to Islam,” and “If a Jew or Christian is found walking down the street, a Muslim should push them to the side”. He has also said that the “immediate problem” for Muslims in Britain is being surrounded by “kuffar” and that one of the only justifications for Muslims to remain in the UK is to “call the kuffar to Islam.”

Tzortis has said that apostates who “fight against the community[…] should be killed” and that, “we as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even the idea of freedom.” He has also spoken in favor of child marriage. He admits that he used to be a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a radical Islamic organization, but that he left the organization for “scholastic and philosophical reasons.” In a statement on the iERA website, Tzortis and Green try to distance themselves from some (unspecified) past statements by writing, “some of the anachronous statements attributed to iERA personnel have been either clarified or publicly retracted, and were never made at university campuses.”

The iERA evidently enjoys a large platform on UK campuses. According to a report on extremist events on UK campuses in the academic year 2016/17, iERA was behind 34 out of the total 112 events that took place that year. Unlike the far-right fringe groups recently banned by British Home Secretary Amber Rudd — the mere support of such groups is punishable by up to 10 years in prison — the iERA is free to carry on its dawa activity undisturbed[4] and does so at an incredible pace. According to the organization’s Facebook page, in October 2017 alone iERA or its representatives were active doing dawa in Canada, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, and in the United States. The iERA also trained 15 dawa leaders from all over the world — from Iceland and Poland to Honduras and Finland — in a recent online dawa training program.

In the United States, the iERA works with the Muslim American Society (MAS) and Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), according to the iERA website. ICNA, a leading Muslim organization in the US, is actively involved in dawa, and in 2015 ran “Global Dawa day,” which referred to Tzortis’s training course.

According to ICNA’s 2013 Members Handbook (for its female members), the organization considers itself an Islamic movement which is an

“organized and collective effort waged to establish Al-Islam in its complete form in all aspects of life. Its ultimate objective is to achieve the pleasure of our Creator Allah and success in the hereafter through struggle for Iqamat-ad-Deen [the establishment of Islam in its totality]. Islamic movements are active in various parts of the world to achieve the same objectives”.

The ultimate goal of establishing an Islamic state in the United States could hardly be much clearer. The pretense of caring for “diversity” and “inclusion” that ICNA displays on its public website cannot be characterized as anything other than an attempt at dissimulation, as is the stated goal of “establishing a place for Islam in America.” ICNA already has a place for Islam in America — it presumably wants to expand that place until nothing else is left.

The 2013 Members Handbook describes that ICNA’s work proceeds in “stages.” One of the stages is dawa, or “effective outreach.”

“Those who accept the truth of Islam are provided with appropriate Islamic literature and given the opportunity to become a Muslim. They are made part of the Islamic Ummah as brothers and sisters.”

The Members Handbook goes on to describe how already in the 1970s:

“ICNA established its own forums for dawah work at the local, regional, and national level. It established vital institutions at the national level for support of its dawah activities… Recognizing other movement oriented groups in this land, ICNA continues to coordinate and combine its efforts with them”.

In fact, ICNA has a separate project called the “Why Islam Dawah Project,” which

“aims to organize the dawah work in North America in a professional and effective manner. Highlights of the project are Toll-Free number for non-Muslims; Distribution of Islamic literature… Dawah through Media; Dawah in Prisons; Campus Dawah Support; Dawah Flyers Online; Dawah through Email”.

ICNA is considered by experts such as Steven Emerson, Founder and Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, to be linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Its spiritual leader, Yusuf al Qaradawi, has preached that the West will be conquered by Islam — not through the sword, but through dawa.

If Western leaders are unable to fathom the danger posed by organizations such as Tablighi Jamaat, iERA and ICNA, and, according to critics, others such as CAIR and ISNA — let alone do something about it, instead of endlessly obsessing over “Islamophobia” — Qaradawi could be proven right.

Judith Bergman is a columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

The Real Roots of Islamic Terrorism

October 5, 2017

The Real Roots of Islamic Terrorism, Gatestone InstituteKhadija Khan, October 5, 2017

Last month, an Islamic preacher was caught red-handed in Britain preaching for ISIS and jihad, and inciting youths to commit violence against non-Muslims. To everyone’s purported astonishment, he was not delivering his lectures on websites. He was delivering sermons live in a public-charity mosque — funded by taxpayers — in Stoke-on-Trent.

France and Britain remain in the constant grip of Islamist terror, yet their governments, despite having laws prohibiting “hate speech”, have so far failed to address the influence that preachers of violence and hatred have with local Muslims.

Blaming terror recruitment only on the internet is just an invented story, like the one that every suicide bomber or those who committed acts of terror in the name of Islam were lone wolves who merely took “inspiration” from terror outfits such as al-Qaeda or ISIS.

Governments in Britain and other countries in the grip of terror posed by Islamists have probably also been using the “online” excuse to shake off any charges of reckless endangerment or criminal neglect that they have might have committed by allowing these extremists to flourish in West.

The terrorists involved in the Parsons Green Underground attack and other incidents, as in Barcelona, were found to have ties with local mosques or seminaries, yet the administrations of these places have refused to take any responsibility, and stated that they are not accountable for the acts of their members.

 

Another terrorist attacks France and slaughters two innocent women at the Marseille train station. The terrorist was reportedly chanting the Arabic verses.

Within 24 hours, another terror attack took place in Edmonton, Canada outside a football stadium, when a man with a knife left five people injured. An ISIS flag was reportedly found in suspect’s car.

The strike in a country known for going extra miles to take in immigrants from the war-torn Middle East exposes the fact that these terrorists are enemies not only of human rights but often if the very people trying to help them.

No soft gesture, however, will deter extremist Muslims unless the whole world submits to their version of Islam.

Pictured: Saint-Charles train station in Marseille, France, where an Islamist terrorist murdered two women on October 1, 2017. (Image source: ignis/Wikimedia Commons)

Western governments might nevertheless once again choose to ignore the existence of religious schools and mosques that serve as radicalization and recruitment centers for extremist Muslims across the West.

The authorities in Europe seem to have been doing very little to clamp down on the recruitment of mainly Muslim youths by terrorists. Many apologists seem to have been trying to confuse people by saying that the internet is root cause of the Islamic extremism and terrorism problem, and authorities have been blaming the websites of terror outfits. Websites do not vote.

France and Britain remain in the constant grip of Islamist terror, yet their governments, despite having laws prohibiting “hate speech”, have so far failed to address the influence that preachers of violence and hatred have with local Muslims.

Last month, an Islamic preacher was caught red-handed in Britain preaching for ISIS and jihad, and inciting youths to commit violence against non-Muslims.

To everyone’s professed astonishment, he was not delivering his lectures on websites or communicating with the gullible youths through online “chats”. He was delivering sermons live in a public-charity mosque — funded by taxpayers — in Stoke-on-Trent.

Governments in Britain and other countries in the grip of terror posed by Islamists have probably also been using the “online” excuse to shake off any charges of reckless endangerment or criminal neglect that they have might have committed by allowing these extremists to flourish in West.

The authorities seem deliberately to be ignoring the compelling presence of hardline madrassahs, mosques and faith-schools that might well be involved in clear instances of preaching violence and hate.

Blaming terror recruitment only on the internet is just an invented story, like the one that every suicide bomber or those who committed acts of terror in the name of Islam, whether in Paris, London or Berlin, are lone wolves who merely took “inspiration” from terror outfits such as al-Qaeda or ISIS.

It is laughable to claim that a “lone wolf” has committed a terror attack, especially when the terror outfits such as ISIS immediately take responsibility for them.

The London Bridge attack left Prime Minister Theresa May stating “enough is enough” and sounding finally determined to tackle terrorism a bit.

But the slogan merely ended up on the back-burner as the terror spree continued — as do the hardline seminaries and recruiters that then led to the Parsons Green Underground attack.

The terrorists involved in that and other attacks, as in Barcelona, were found to have ties with local mosques or seminaries, yet the administrations of these places have refused to take any responsibility, and state that they are not accountable for the acts of their members.

Westminster terror attacker Khalid Masood was serving as a public contact person for the website of the Luton Islamic Center Mosque just a week before he rammed a car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge and went on to kill a police officer.

Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi, who murdered 22 people, including children, regularly attended Didsbury Mosque, which was also known to have home to many other al-Qaeda and ISIS recruits. The mosque was also known for having ties with al-Qaeda-linked jihadists such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.

The perpetrators of the London Bridge and Borough Market terror attacks — Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouance and Youssef Zaghba — were believed to be associated with the outlawed Islamist group al-Muhajiroun, co-founded by the convicted hate preacher Anjem Choudary. Khuram Butt was even seen brandishing an Islamic State flag in Regent’s Park in a Channel 4 documentary.

The Berlin Christmas Market terrorist, Anis Amri, was also reportedly radicalized by a local mosque. One of the preachers of the Mosque, Abu Walaa, is these days on trial with four others in Germany for serving as an ISIS recruiter.

There is a dire need to hold government officials — and the preachers and administrators of these mosques — accountable, and to demand that they take action against extremists who target these breeding grounds, or face criminal prosecution. The policy of avoiding the problem by keeping one’s eyes shut only enlarges it and sacrifices freedom on the altar of terror.

Khadija Khan is a Pakistani journalist and commentator, currently based in Germany.

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: July 2017

August 26, 2017

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: July 2017, Gatestone InstituteSoeren Kern, August 26, 2017

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that the government would not publish a much-delayed report into the funding of Islamist extremism in Britain…. Opposition parties condemned the government for not publishing the report. They said that the decision appeared to be intended to bury any criticism of Saudi Arabia.

The British government lacks reliable immigration statistics and has no way of accurately tracking who is entering or leaving the country, according to a new report released by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee.

A father-of-five, Anjem Choudary, an Islamist who is serving a five-and-a-half year sentence for urging support of the Islamic State, has claimed up to £500,000 ($640,000) in benefits, which he has referred to as “Jihad seeker’s allowance.”

July 1. Two men, both aged 21, one from Leicester and one from Birmingham, were arrested at Heathrow Airport on suspicion of terrorism offenses after arriving on a flight from Turkey. Two days earlier, a 21-year-old woman was arrested, also on suspicion of terrorism offenses, at the same airport, as she arrived on a flight from Istanbul. In May, a 30-year-old man was arrested at Heathrow, on suspicion of preparing for terrorist acts after he stepped off a plane from Istanbul.

July 2. Sahnoun Daifallah, a 50-year-old Algerian chemist, sentenced to nine years in prison for contaminating supermarket food with his own excrement, avoided deportation for seven years. Daifallah came to Britain in 1999 and was granted refugee status two years later. In May 2008, he used a weed killer spray bottle to contaminate food with a mixture of urine and feces at several supermarkets in Gloucestershire. Damage to the businesses was estimated at £700,000 ($900,000). Daifallah was told he would be deported in 2010, but apparently bureaucratic incompetence has kept him in immigration custody since February 2013. The 54 months he has spent in detention have cost British taxpayers around £155,000 ($200,000), not including his legal bills which have added at least another £100,000.

July 2. A new report — “The Missing Muslims: Unlocking British Muslim Potential for the Benefit of All” — concluded: “It is of great importance that British-born imams, who have a good understanding of British culture and who fluently speak English, are encouraged and appointed in preference to overseas alternatives.” The 18-month inquiry — commissioned by Citizens UK, a community organizing charity, and chaired by former Attorney General Dominic Grieve MP — was set up to examine ways in which the participation of Muslims in the public and community life, outside of their own faith groups, might be improved. Imams were told they must take a “stronger stance” against persecution of others, including Jews, Christians and other Muslims. “The Commission has heard a great deal about the need for better leadership within the UK’s Muslim communities,” the report said. “The management committees of the UK’s mosques need to better understand, and respond to, modern British life.”

July 3. BBC One broadcast a documentary — “The Betrayed Girls” — about the Rochdale child exploitation ring, in which dozens of underage girls were raped and trafficked by a gang of men from Afghanistan and Pakistan. The 90-minute film, which featured interviews with individuals from the case, including some of the victims, former Detective Constable Maggie Oliver and Chief Prosecutor Nazir Afzal, provided insights into the failings of police and other official bodies to investigate the large-scale sexual abuse, which occurred between 2008 and 2009.

Oliver, who resigned from the Manchester police force after claiming that hundreds of cases of alleged sexual abuse by Muslim grooming gangs were mishandled or ignored, criticized police for failing to tackle the abuse. Appearing on Lorraine, a television show, Oliver said:

“We are 15 years on now and there is not one senior police officer that has been held accountable. Most of them have retired with big pensions. I think it has gone way beyond the racial debate, I see it as a class debate also….

“These girls had no voice, just like the people that they stuck in Grenfell Tower. They are not living in big fancy apartments in the West End of London so those in positions of authority they have got an attitude and an arrogance that they can do what they like. It shouldn’t matter where anybody’s from, a rapist is a rapist.

“What puzzles me is at what point in the life of police officer…at what point in that climb up the slippery pole do they lose sight of why they joined and what is right and what is wrong, and what has happened is wrong and nobody has been brought to account.”

July 3. Haroon Syed, 19, from West London, was sentenced to 16-and-a-half years in prison for plotting to attack an Elton John concert in London on the fifteenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Syed admitted to researching potential targets on the internet, including an Elton John concert in Hyde Park and Oxford Street, a busy shopping district. He also used the internet to try obtain weapons to use in a possible attack, and used social media to contact people he believed were supporters of Islamic State. In one message, he wrote: “So after some damage with machine gun then do martyrdom…that’s what im planning to do.”

July 3. Armed police swooped down on a Megabus from London after a “disruptive” man, shouting “praise Allah” and “something’s about to happen,” caused a driver to pull over and evacuate worried passengers. A Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police spokesman said: “The bus stopped on Central Park Drive where a 47-year-old man from Manchester was detained under the Mental Health Act. He will now undergo a mental health assessment.”

July 3. Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, MI5, reportedly has deployed agents to Ireland to monitor jihadists there. A source interviewed by the Irish Star said:

“Ireland is a major area of concern for the British there is no doubt about that. They are here specifically to watch jihadis. They are here because they think we are a weak link in terms of their security. They want to know about potential threats to the UK from extremists living here. The British think our security here is too lax and MI5 are here to try and spot any problems in Dublin before they get to England.”

July 4. The National Health Service (NHS) recorded 5,391 new cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) during the past year. Almost half of the victims involved women and girls living in London. One-third were women and girls born in Somalia, while 112 cases were UK-born nationals. Although FGM was banned in the UK in 1985, not a single person has been convicted of the crime. Many victims are said to be reluctant to report offenses because it would require them to give evidence against members of their family. This has made it difficult for authorities to secure prosecutable evidence.

July 4. Sally Jones, a former punk rocker who became the leading female recruitment officer for the Islamic State, married a now-deceased jihadist and moved with her son to Raqqa, reportedly wants to return to Britain. In an interview with Sky News, “Aisha,” the wife of a Moroccan jihadist in Syria, said: “She was crying and wants to get back to Britain but ISIS is preventing her because she is now a military wife. She told me she wishes to go to her country.”

July 4. Haleema Butt, the 28-year-old sister of the London Bridge terror attacker Khuram Butt, was fired from her job at Heathrow Airport after an internal investigation. Her husband, Usman Darr, was suspended from his job, also at the airport. Both were security staff. A Heathrow spokesman said: “Heathrow took appropriate action in close cooperation with the authorities in relation to two colleagues employed at the airport.”

July 4. Northern Ireland’s lead prosecutor, Barra McGrory, said he has no regrets about charging Pastor James McConnell for hate speech for making “grossly offensive” remarks during a May 2014 sermon in which he said that Islam is “satanic” and “heathen.” McConnell was acquitted of the charges in January 2016. McGrory said:

“The remarks were sufficiently offensive in my view to bring it over the prosecutorial threshold, as did those who worked on the case here. The fact that the district judge didn’t think that the remarks were over that threshold is not something I’ve any great issue with.

“It’s not OK to offend people, but it’s not a criminal offense to offend people in the context of using language to get across a doctrinal point. The case was taken on the basis that we believed there were points in the sermon where he strayed outside the strict doctrinal debate and used language which we considered to be offensive beyond the doctrinal context.

“The judge in the end decided that it was all within a doctrinal context and only on that basis, the remarks weren’t considered to be grossly offensive. So, it was a very fine judgment.

“There are laws which control and limit free speech in certain contexts. It’s a prosecutor’s nightmare trying to make these finely balanced decisions on whether or not such comments do or do not stray across the line.”

Northern Ireland’s lead prosecutor, Barra McGrory, recently said he has no regrets about charging Pastor James McConnell (pictured above on December 16, 2016) for hate speech for making “grossly offensive” remarks during a May 2014 sermon in which he said that Islam is “satanic” and “heathen.” (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

July 5. A new report — “Foreign Funded Islamist Extremism in the UK” from the Henry Jackson Society — highlighted the need for a public inquiry into the foreign-based funding of Islamist extremism. The report’s conclusions include:

“The foreign funding for Islamist extremism in Britain primarily comes from governments and government-linked foundations based in the Gulf, as well as Iran.

“Foremost among these has been Saudi Arabia, which since the 1960s has sponsored a multimillion dollar effort to export Wahhabi Islam across the Islamic world, including to Muslim communities in the West.

“In the UK, this funding has primarily taken the form of endowments to mosques and Islamic educational institutions, which have apparently, in turn, played host to Islamist extremist preachers and the distribution of extremist literature. Influence has also been exerted through the training of British Muslim religious leaders in Saudi Arabia, as well as the use of Saudi textbooks in a number of the UK’s independent Islamic schools.

“A number of Britain’s most serious Islamist hate preachers sit within the Salafi-Wahhabi ideology and are apparently linked to Islamist extremism sponsored from overseas, either by having studied in Saudi Arabia as part of scholarship programs, or by having been provided with extreme literature and material within the UK itself.

“There have been numerous cases of British individuals who have joined Jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria whose radicalization is thought to link back to foreign funded institutions and preachers.”

July 5. Several of the most dangerous and radicalized extremists in the British prison system were moved into the first of three special “jihadi jail” separation units across England and Wales. The first specialist center is at HMP Frankland near Durham; two other centers, at HMP Full Sutton near York and at HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire, are due to open in the coming months. The three centers combined will hold up to 28 of the most subversive extremist prisoners in the system, far short of the 186 prisoners convicted of terrorist or extremist offenses.

July 7. A 17-year-old boy who grew up in a Christian family and converted to Islam allegedly plotted a “lone wolf” attack on a Justin Bieber concert in Cardiff. Counter-terrorism police said the boy, who was not identified because of his age, was radicalized in less than a week online. The attack was to take place on June 30 as more than 40,000 fans descended on the Principality Stadium for the concert. The boy was arrested during a raid on his rural home hours before the performance.

July 8. Nazim Ali, a director of the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), claimed that the victims of the fire at the Grenfell Tower “were murdered” by Zionists who fund the Conservative party. Ali said:

“As we know in Grenfell, many innocents were murdered by Theresa May’s cronies, many of which are supporters of Zionist ideology. Let us not forget that some of the biggest corporations who were supporting the Conservative Party are Zionists. They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell, in those towers in Grenfell, the Zionist supporters of the Tory Party.

“It is the Zionists who give money to the Tory party, to kill people in high rise blocks…. Careful, careful, careful of those rabbis who belong to the Board of Deputies, who have got blood on their hands.”

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We received an allegation of anti-Semitic comments and it is being investigated by detectives from Westminster. The inquiry continues.”

July 9. Zohair Tomari, 20, was sentenced to 12 years and nine months years in prison for raping a 17-year-old girl and sexually assaulting two other girls, aged 13 and 14. Tomari, who claims to be from Morocco but is believed to be from Syria, raped the 17-year-old after plying her with alcohol. He was granted bail and went on to attack the two younger girls.

July 12. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that the government would not publish a much-delayed report into the funding of Islamist extremism in Britain. The review was commissioned by former Prime Minister David Cameron in November 2015. Rudd said:

“It gives us the best picture we have ever had of how extremists operating in the UK sustain their activities…. Having taken advice, I have decided against publishing the classified report produced during the review in full. This is because of the volume of personal information it contains and for national security reasons.”

Opposition parties condemned the government for not publishing the report. They said that the decision appeared to be intended to bury any criticism of Saudi Arabia. Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, said that the public “has a right to know if any governments, foreign or domestic organizations or individuals are funding extremism in this country.” She added:

“There is a strong suspicion this report is being suppressed to protect this government’s trade and diplomatic priorities, including in relation to Saudi Arabia. The only way to allay those suspicions is to publish the report in full.”

Caroline Lucas, the Green co-leader, said that Rudd’s “utterly vague statement” was unacceptable:

“The statement gives absolutely no clue as to which countries foreign funding for extremism originates from, leaving the government open to further allegations of refusing to expose the role of Saudi Arabian money in terrorism in the UK.”

The Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, said the decision to not publish the report was “utterly shameful.” He said:

“Instead of supporting the perpetrators of these vile ideologies, the government should be naming and shaming them, including so-called allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar if need be.”

July 12. British Transport Police released a CCTV image of an elderly Muslim man suspected of having sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl on a train between Preston and Blackburn. A police spokesman said: “We do not tolerate any form of unwanted sexual behavior and we are working to identify and trace the offender. The victim was understandably left distressed and shaken by what happened.”

July 14. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, Britain’s most senior police officer, said that a “very large number of plots” have been foiled over the last few years. “Some of them were very close, we would say, to an attack, very close.” Pressed on exactly how many attacks have been thwarted, she said that five had been averted in “just the last few weeks.” She added:

“Overall I think it is well into the teens in the last couple of years, where we know people were intent on attacking and that has been stopped. In addition, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of arrests of people who are radicalized, and are either spreading hatred or supporting terrorism, or want to carry out a terrorist attack.”

July 14. Muslim leaders filed a complaint with the organizers of London’s Pride festival after placards allegedly bearing Islamophobic messages were spotted at the event. Banners bearing slogans such as “Allah is gay” and “F*** Islamic homophobia” were carried at the event by members of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB). Maryam Namazie, spokeswoman for CEMB, said the group was protesting the treatment of LGBT people in states under hardline Islamic leadership, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is a capital offense. She added:

“Pride is full of ‘God is gay’ and ‘Jesus had two fathers’ placards as well as those mocking the church and priests and pope, yet hold a sign saying ‘Allah is gay’ — as we did — and the police converge to attempt to remove them for causing offense.”

July 14. Jahed Choudhury, 24, thought to be one of the first British Muslims to be in a same-sex marriage, said that since his wedding, he had received death threats online and abuse on the streets: “The worst messages say, ‘the next time I see you in the streets, I’m going to throw acid in your face.’ Even if I walk down the streets, I have people spitting on me and calling me pig.” He added: “I’ve been brought up Muslim and the Koran mentions you cannot be gay and Muslim. But this is how I have chosen to live my life. I will never get rid of my faith.”

July 15. An investigation revealed that Imran Miah, a 27-year-old ISIS supporter who threatened and mocked non-Muslims on Facebook, has been working as a teaching assistant at several state schools in London. Lord Carlile, the former independent reviewer of terror legislation, said Miah’s online statements warranted a police investigation. Lord Carlile said they may breach the Terrorism Act of 2006, which bans indirect encouragement of terrorism, as well as hate crime laws. “It is alarming that somebody was being employed as a supply teacher, given that this type of internet activity was not compatible with someone being a supply teacher,” Lord Carlile said.

July 16. Aniso Abulkadir, 18, from Harrow, London, claimed that she and her friends were racially assaulted at the Baker Street Tube station. After reporting the incident to the police, Abulkadir shared a photo of the alleged attacker online and described how he attempted to remove her headscarf before hitting her. When the picture went viral, the man in the image identified himself on Twitter and refuted the allegations. Pawel Uczciwek, 28, from London, said he was protecting his girlfriend and attempting to defuse what he called a “racist attack from three random females.” Uczciwek wrote: “The police is fully cooperating with me and will be able to obtain CCTV footage showing the three women attempting to attack my partner because we are in an interracial relationship.”

July 19. Jihadists linked to the Islamic State called on supporters to carry out “lone wolf” attacks on Jewish businesses and places of worship in Britain. The threat, posted on a pro-ISIS social media site called Lone Mujahid, included a list of every synagogue in Britain, as well as a list of Jewish shops and delis across the country.

July 20. Rachida Serroukh, 37, a single mother of three, filed a lawsuit against her daughter’s school, the prestigious Holland Park School, dubbed the “socialist Eton,” after being told she could not wear a face veil on its premises. The school said it is a safety issue to be able to identify all of those on school premises. Serroukh’s lawyer, Attiq Malik, said it was a “straightforward” test case of religious discrimination. “The government constantly talks about British values. To me, those values include diversity and multiculturalism.”

July 21. The British government lacks reliable immigration statistics and has no way of accurately tracking who is entering or leaving the country, according to a new report released by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee:

“The available data on migration are extremely poor. They fail to provide an accurate number of migrants entering or leaving the country or the number of migrants in work. The data, based upon flawed sample surveys, are wholly inadequate for policy making and measuring the success or otherwise of the policies adopted. The margin of error for the latest net migration statistics was 41,000. The Government must prioritize plans to improve the longstanding flaws in the data if it is to take effective control of migration.”

July 22. A freedom of information request revealed that Anjem Choudary, an Islamist who is serving a five-and-a-half year sentence for urging support of the Islamic State, has received more than £140,000 ($180,000) in taxpayer-funded legal aid for his unsuccessful bid to avoid prison. The figure is set to rise as his lawyers continue to file claims. The father-of-five has claimed up to £500,000 ($640,000) in benefits, which he has referred to as “Jihad seeker’s allowance.”

July 22. Zana Hassan, a 29-year-old Iraqi who has been living illegally in Britain for nine years, avoided deportation after he stormed into a Methodist church and threatened churchgoers. “I will kill you and kill all the English,” he shouted. The Crown Prosecution Service deemed the offense a “low-level disorder,” which allowed Hassan to avoid time in jail. Hassan walked free after Home Office officials failed to take the opportunity to seek a deportation order. Ukip MEP Mike Hookem asked, “Do we really need this sort of person in our country?” George Richardson, Conservative county councilor for Barnard Castle East, said, “It seems someone needs to be killed before they get a bigger sentence.”

July 25. Mujahid Arshid, 33, was charged with kidnapping, raping and murdering Celine Dookhran, a 19-year-old Indian Muslim, in a suspected “honor killing” in London. Prosecutor Binita Roscoe told the Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court that the teenager was of Indian Muslim heritage and had started a relationship with an Arab Muslim man.

July 25. An inmate at a prison in Norfolk shouted “this is for Allah” before slashing the throat of a guard. After being moved to another prison, the man attacked a second officer. An official source said that the suspect was not serving a sentence for a terror-related offense, a statement that raised the possibility that he had been radicalized in prison.

July 26. A 15-year-old girl was raped at a railway station in Birmingham. She was then raped again by the driver of a passing car she flagged down to help her. Police described the first attacker as an “Asian” man in his early 20s and of a skinny build. Police said the second man was also “Asian” and in his 20s and of a large build.

July 27. Victoria Wasteney, a Christian NHS worker, lost an appeal in her legal battle which erupted because she shared her faith at work with her Muslim colleague, Enya Nawaz. Wasteney, the former Head of Forensic Occupational Therapy at St. John Howard hospital in East London, was suspended in June 2013 for “gross misconduct” after Nawaz complained that Wasteney had been attempting to convert her to Christianity. Wasteney said she was surprised by the allegations because she thought she and her colleague had become friends over the 18 months they worked together. Wasteney lost the case when she took the trust to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. In October 2015, Wasteney won permission to appeal on grounds of religious freedom. After losing the appeal in April 2016, she decided to challenge the decision, but lost once again.

July 27. An official report revealed that Omar Deghayes, a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay who was paid £1 million ($1.3 million) in compensation by the British Government for the time he spent at the detention center, passed some of the money on to teenage jihadists who later died fighting in Syria. Deghayes is alleged to have paid young Muslim boys to attend a gym where children were “vulnerable to radicalization.” The Serious Case Review revealed that police and other authorities were warned about a network of teenage jihadists attending the gym, but that those concerns were ignored.

July 27. Four members of the Rochdale sexual grooming gang received £1million ($1.3 million) in taxpayer-funded legal aid to fight their deportation to Pakistan. Lawyers for Shabir Ahmed, Abdul Aziz, Adil Khan and Abdul Rauf, paedophiles who raped and abused girls as young as 13, are leveraging Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which safeguards the right to family life. David Spencer, of the Center for Crime Prevention think-tank, said:

“These men have been convicted of some truly abhorrent offenses and it beggars belief that they are now able to run up even bigger taxpayer-funded bills making spurious appeals in an effort to extend their stay in the UK.”

July 28. Iman FM, a radio station in Sheffield, was taken off the air by Ofcom, the media regulator, after it broadcast 25 hours of lectures by Anwar al-Awlaki, a former leader of al-Qaeda who was killed in an American drone strike. Ofcom said Iman FM was guilty of “extremely serious breaches” of the broadcasting code by airing material that “was likely to incite or encourage the commission of crime or to lead to disorder.” Iman FM said it “fully accepted” that breaches had taken place but insisted they were due to “recklessness, but not deliberate intent.”

July 28. The government appeared to abandon its two-year-long attempt to ban teachers caught up in the Trojan Horse affair in Birmingham, after those in the remaining cases were told that disciplinary action against them has been halted. Fifteen teachers and senior staff were accused of trying to Islamize schools in Birmingham, but letters from the National Council of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) — an arm of the Department for Education — to lawyers for the remaining teachers involved were told that the proceedings have been discontinued. The decision means that only one teacher out of the 15 who faced proceedings by the government has received a classroom ban, while the other 14 have had their cases dismissed, overturned or dropped.

July 30. Mubarek Ali, the ringleader of sexual grooming gang in Telford, was told he would be released from prison just five years into a 22-year sentence. Ali was one of seven men convicted at Worcester Crown Court in 2013 for preying on girls as young as 13. Telford MP Lucy Allan condemned the decision, which could allow Ali back into a community where his victims continue to live. She said:

“Victims and members of the public would have expected a 22-year sentence to mean that the community could have time to heal and victims would be able to get on with their lives. What we see in this case is that the one of the main perpetrators is being released into the community only five years after the trial….

“What is unacceptable is that in this case there was no attempt by the authorities to reach out these young women and prepare them for this wholly unexpected event. Worse still is the prospect that this person may be returned to Telford and naturally this has caused huge anxiety to victims, many people have had to look for Afinil in order to get rid of their anxiety.”

July 31. Amin Mohmed, 24, Mohammed Patel, 20, and Faruq Patel, 19, were sentenced to between 18 and 42 weeks at a young offenders’ institution after rampaging through Liverpool city center attacking strangers because they were white “non-Muslims.” One of the men stopped Gary Bohanna and said, “I’m a Muslim, what are you?” When Bohanna answered, “I’m a Christian,” the attacker shouted, “Why aren’t you a Muslim?” before punching him twice, breaking his glasses and causing a 2-cm cut above his left eye. The group then encountered St. Helens councilor Paul Lynch and his girlfriend. Faruq filmed Mohmed punching Lynch with a “sickening blow” that could be “seen and heard.” The judge said: “References to the fact he was not a Muslim were made and you appeared to justify your actions because of certain beliefs you held.”