Author Archives: terrortrends

Jihad is not caused by Poverty or Ignorance

by Christopher W. Holton

A favorite theory of TV pundits is the idea that Jihad is caused by socioeconomic problems. If only there were more educational and economic opportunities in places like the Middle East and Southwest Asia…and Europe…and New York…and Tennessee…and California…and Florida…and Texas…we wouldn’t be seeing all this “terrorism.”

The problem for the pundits is that there is no evidence to back up this theory. Study after study continues to show that the average Jihadi is above average in terms of education and economic status.

In some cases, like Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, Jihadist leaders gave up lucrative lifestyles to pursue Jihad. And time and time again, from Mohammed Atta, the notorious ring leader of the 9/11 hijackers, to the latest example linked below, the rank and file Jihadis are often not deprived either…

First picture of Sheffield dentistry student found guilty of terrorism offences

It took jurors just over a day to find Mohammed Abbas Idris Awan, of Dun Street, Sheffield guilty of one offence of engaging in the preparation of an act of terrorism and two offences of possessing a record likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

Judge Paul Watson QC adjourned the case until Wednesday, December 20 when Awan will be sentenced. The former University of Sheffield student was remanded into custody until that time.

https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/first-picture-of-sheffield-dentistry-student-found-guilty-of-terrorism-offences-1-8908313

Pay Attention to what the Jihadists Say

by Christopher W. Holton

For those, such as the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Congressman Michael McCaul, who take comfort in the repeated individual jihadi attacks such as occurred in New York City as a sign of the weakness of our enemies, we can only point out that they have not done their homework and studied what the Jihadists have said…

Successful jihad will only happen within an ummah [Islamic nation or community] in which the fighting creed is firmly established and clarified. This must happen in order to attain the “Revolutionary Jihadist Climate” that will spontaneously give rise to instruments of resistance.

Violent jihad is as an individual duty obligatory upon every Muslim. All the ulema have said this…”

The Call to Global Islamic Resistance
Abu Musab al-Suri
Al Qaeda propagandist
Captured in Pakistan 2005

We fight them for the sake of incidents to cause political pressure and psychological collapse, so that they leave our lands. Carrying out a small operation every month against the enemy will have more of an impact on him than a big operation every year or two.

Toward a New Strategy in Resisting the Occupier
Muhammad Khalil al-Hakaymah
Al Qaeda Chief of External Operations
Killed by US air strike in Pakistan in 2008

Jihadists React with Rhetoric to America’s Israel Embassy Move

by Christopher W. Holton

Many believe that the best way to judge someone is not just by their friends, but by their enemies.

If that axiom is true, then America must be doing something right, because the lowest of the low in the human race are coming forth with their venom and threats in the wake of President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Just about every Jihadist organization on the planet has chimed in.

Before you assume that President Trump’s announcement will touch off attacks of retaliation, you should realize that all of these organizations have already carried out atrocities and attacks. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem will not change them. It merely draws them out into the open with their disgusting rhetoric:

• Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan “spokesman” Mohammad Khorasani issued a statement condemning President Trump’s decision and called for “all Muslims to unite against kufr (non-believers).”

• The founder and leader of the UN- designated terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed, Maulana Masood Azhar, released a threatening statement against President Trump’s decision.

• In a statement posted on on the Ikhwanonline.info website, the Muslim Brotherhood declared the U.S. an “enemy” and “Jerusalem is an Islamic and Arab land, for which we will shed our blood, freedom and life, and we fight every aggressor and every supporter of aggression. This is the way of our Jihad.”

• Al Qaeda released the following statement: “Recognition of Jerusalem as capital of the Zionist entity is blatant aggression by Crusader Trump against the sanctities of Muslims. The surest and shortest way to confront the aggression and arrogance of the Pharaoh of this age, the U.S., is Jihad in the Way of Allah, by targeting its vital interests and the interests of its Zionist and Crusader allies everywhere.”

• Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb: “We call on every mujahid to support the liberation of Palestine, the victory of the Palestinians to purge al-Aqsa of Jewish filth.”

• Kashmir-based Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind: “It is a duty upon Muslims to come forth with urgency and do everything needed to stop the madman sitting in the White House and stop him from dishonoring the sacred land of Bayt al-Maqdis and to storm and burn the embassies of the U.S. and Israel to demolish them. We urge honorable Muslims across the world to attack and harm U.S. and Israeli companies and financial and commercial interests. The honor of Bayt al-Maqdis will be restored by shedding the blood of Americans and Israelis. It is the duty of every Muslim, no matter where, to restore the honor of Bayt al-Maqdis. The Holy Land must be made the graveyard for Jews.”

• The Hasam Movement (Arms of Egypt Movement) released a written statement calling for an uprising in response to the decision.

• Hezbollah: Hezbollah leader Sayyed Nasrallah spoke and said that the most important reactions that must be made are a new Intifada and a new Arab summit. He also said the decision was a legitimate reason to target U.S. forces.

• Al Shabaab: “Trump’s decision to relocate the U.S. embassy is evidence of aggression against Islam and Muslims. We urge all Muslims to take up weapons and defend al-Aqsa from the American-backed Zionist occupation.”

• The Taliban: “The Islamic Emirate strongly condemns recognition of Muslims’ first Qibla Baital Maqdas, as the capital of occupying Israel by the president of America. We consider this anti-Muslim bigotry and a reckless step. The decision by Trump will fan the flames of conflict in the entire world, especially in the Middle East.”

What do the Islamic State and the Muslim Brotherhood Have in Common? Islamic Doctrine

by Christopher W. Holton

The folks over at the Clarion Project have a review of a new report published by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. The report is entitled: “Struggle Over Scripture: Charting the Rift Between Islamist Extremism and Mainstream Islam.”

On the one hand, the report recognizes the close affiliation between the ideas of the Islamic State and other violent Jihadists and the Muslim Brotherhood, which some describe as “Islamist” in that it promotes an Islamic political agenda.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the report refuses to recognize the “elephant in the room,” namely why the Islamic State and the Muslim Brotherhood are so closely aligned.

“The evidence now shows that there is considerable ideological overlap in how Islamic scripture is used by Islamists, like the Muslim Brotherhood, and violent jihadists, such as ISIS and Al Qaeda,” said Dr Emman El-Badawy, head of research at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.

Clarion adds the following commentary:

The findings of the study about the close ideological connection between jihadists and the Muslim Brotherhood were borne out historically as well as noted in current events.

In the recently released CIA documents seized during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, papers show bin Laden’s ideology from the beginning was affiliated with the Brotherhood.

“I was committed to the Muslim Brotherhood, despite their limited curriculum,” bin Laden said in hand-written notes. “I was religious from a young age…There was no one guiding me like the Brotherhood was. It was just natural instinct.”

In a recent appearance, Palestinian-Jordanian historian Husni Ayesh, a former member of Jordan’s Board of Education, said ISIS and al-Qaeda developed from the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The leader of al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen also recently said in a statement that his group has formed alliances with other Sunni jihadists in the country, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

In addition, despite Hamas’ apparent attempt to distance itself from its own terrorist past and its parent body, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian Brotherhood insists the two are still connected.

The report notes that claims by groups such as the Islamic State and Al Qaeda to have theological backing for their violence are going unchallenged by mainstream Islamic scholars.

Now we get to the crux of the matter.

First of all, let’s point out that the term “Islamist” is basically flawed redundancy because mainstream Islamic doctrine has no recognition of secular government or politics. It has always been assumed in Islamic history that the government must govern by Allah’s law.

We don’t object strenuously to the use of this term though because we do not believe it covers up anything and mainly because the Ayatollah Khomeini, certainly one of the most infamous Islamic leaders of all time on at least one occasion referred to himself as an “Islamist.” At TTB we don’t believe in making up terms to describe the enemy, but if the enemy uses a term himself, then we see no problem in its usage.

There is a reason why the Muslim Brotherhood’s philosophy is so close to that of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda and it has been known for decades to those paying attention: they all base their activities on Islamic doctrine.

It is mainstream Islamic doctrine that all Muslims must strive for the formation of the caliphate so that Allah’s religion is supreme over all other religions and so that Allah’s law rules over all (Allah’s law being shariah).This is not Jihadist ideology. It is not Islamist philosophy. It is mainstream Islamic doctrine, which forms the foundation for ideologies and philosophies. (More on the relationship between Islamic doctrine and Jihadist ideology in an upcoming article soon.)

The Islamic State, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood are all fighting and working toward establishing a caliphate ruled by shariah. That is why they seem so similar in philosophy–they have the same doctrine and goal.

This is not new, though we welcome the Tony Blair Institute in recognizing it.

Now, this brings us to the question of why these groups’ justification for their actions are going “unchallenged by mainstream Islamic scholars.”

The reason is simple once again. No Islamic scholar can challenge their goals because their stated goals of establishing a caliphate and establishing rule by shariah is mainstream Islamic doctrine.

There is no disagreement. There may be disagreement on methodology from time to time but the doctrine is clear. And make no mistake, organizations like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State base all their actions with copious quotation and interpretation of Islamic scripture, either the Quran or the just as important Sunnah of Mohammed.

The Sunnah of Mohammed is the doctrine that the Prophet Mohammed was considered the perfect example for all Muslims to follow and all Muslims should do their best to emulate him in every way. The Sunnah of Mohammed comes from the Hadith (stories and sayings about his life) and the Sira, which is his biography.

Believe it or not, from a practical standpoint, the Sunnah of Mohammed is more important than even the Quran because there is simply not enough information in the Quran to learn to be a pious, devout Muslim. But the Quran does command Muslims to do as Mohammed did, so they go to the Hadith and the Sira to find out what to do.

Mohammed waged violent jihad–often. Mohammed killed Jews–on a mass scale. Mohammed married a 6 year old girl. Mohammed had multiple wives. Mohammed owned many slaves, including concumbines–Christian sex slaves. All of this is part of Islamic doctrine because Mohammed did it and no one is authorized to change that.

You won’t hear a mainstream Islamic scholar criticize anything Mohammed did. To do so would amount to apostasy, for which he can be put to death.

https://clarionproject.org/ideology-links-brotherhood-isis-tony-blair-study/

https://www.thenational.ae/world/islamic-scholars-failing-to-challenge-isil-narrative-1.681784

Is Europe Under Siege? The British Foreign Office Seems to Think So

by Christopher W. Holton

Foreign_and_Commonwealth_Office_Logo

Over the past few weeks several threatening messages from the Islamic State and Al Qaeda have appeared in social media and elsewhere. The threats have primarily been directed at European cities during the holiday season.

President Trump and Prime Minister May have entered into a pointless Twitter battle over the threat from Jihad and their respective views on how to address it.

Against this backdrop, the British Foreign Office has issued travel bulletins for its citizens traveling to the following 10 countries:

• Czech Republic

• Denmark

• The Netherlands

• Austria

• Germany

• Italy

• Belgium

• France

• Switzerland

• Sweden

The Foreign Office issued the exact same bulletin for each country:

“There may be increased security in place over the Christmas and New Year period, including at Christmas markets and other major events that might attract large crowds; you should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities”

We find it ironic that, given the number of Jihadi attacks–vehicle jihad, knife jihad, and bombings–in Great Britain over the past 2 years or so, that the British wouldn’t add their own country to the list of nations for which they have issued travel bulletins.

We’d say that London and other parts of Britain are at least as dangerous as places in Switzerland, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark and the Czech Republic.

What all this adds up to is what the British government is telling travelers, but won’t come right out and say it, is that there is a severe threat of Jihad all over Europe.

If you want to feel safe this holiday season, head to Tahiti for that white Christmas experience.

Daily Mail: Pro-Islamic State Jihadist Org Calls for Attacks on Western Children

posted by Christopher W. Holton

islamic_state_of_iraq

The Daily Mail in the UK is reporting today on a new threat from a Jihadist organization calling on Muslims to attack children in the West.

Of course, Jihadi attacks on children are nothing new. The victims of the Manchester bombing in Great Britain were mostly teen age girls.

A pro-ISIS jihadist group has called for Muslims to murder children in the West, an anti-extremism organisation has warned.

The terrorists – calling themselves the all-Qastantiyyah Foundation – called for the slayings through the Telegram app.

They singled out the US, Australia and Europe as targets.

Earlier this year, a different jihadist group – also pro-ISIS – called for children to be murdered in the West.

ISIS, however, enslaves, tortures, rapes and murders children as a matter of principle, according to the United Nations.

The Islamist group also forces children to fight its battles, and often records videos of youngsters murdering prisoners in gruesome ways.

Earlier this week, ISIS terrorists operating on the Afghan-Pakistan border forced child soldiers to cut off the arms of a man they said was a spy.

He was then beheaded by a boy no older than 10.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5133229/Jihadist-group-calls-attacks-Western-children.html

 

 

More on the Jihad Threat this Christmas and New Year’s Season

by Christopher W. Holton

Christmas-markets_shutterstock_224875129_resized

Both the Islamic State and Al Qaeda have issued audio, video or online threats to attack the West this Christmas.

These threats focus on European population centers, such as Paris and London, and New York City in America, though the possibility of Jihadi attacks in other places in the West can certainly not be discounted. History has shown that places as diverse geographically as Brussels, Berlin and San Bernardino have all been targeted, especially at Christmas time.

Lone Wolf or Individual Jihad?

The possible attacks in the West could take the form of organized, planned attacks directed from Jihadi leaders overseas or inside Europe or America, or they could be carried out by individuals “inspired” by Jihadist ideology.

Ironically, very often, Western media and officials seem to take some form of weird comfort when a deadly attack ends up being the work of an individual jihadi, as opposed to an organized cell or affiliate of a known terrorist group.

In reality, the opposite should be the case.

First of all, none of the Jihadist groups–Islamic State, Al Qaeda, HAMAS, Hezbollah, the Taliban, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab, Lashkar e Taiba, Ansar al-Sharia, Abu Sayyef, Jemaah Islamiyeh–issue membership cards or wear uniforms. So a case can be made that classification of an attacker as “inspired” or “directed” could be a distinction without a difference.

But there is a difference between a cell such as the 19 hijackers who carried out the September 11 attacks after training and planning conducted by Al Qaeda’s leadership and infrastructure, and the husband and wife team who shot up a Christmas party of people they knew and worked with in San Bernardino. (Though it is vital that we understand that their acts are based on the same Islamic doctrine and they are tied together by the same Jihadist ideology.)

So which flavor of Jihadi is more dangerous?

If you’re on the receiving end of an attack, it makes no difference to you, but by casualty count, the cell would appear to pose a greater threat. On the other hand, the inspired attacks seem to happen much more frequently.

A case can be made that individual Jihadis pose a greater challenge for our intelligence and law enforcement communities.

Cells have to be organized, trained and communicated back and forth with. All of this provides opportunities for detection and even infiltration.

Individual jihadis don’t offer any of these potential vulnerabilities. One can infiltrate a cell, especially one in which members are using cell phones and email to contact each other and leaders elsewhere. How does one infiltrate one guy, like the Chattanooga, Tennessee shooter, the Orlando shooter or the Uzbeki vehicle jihad attacker in New York City?

If the individual jihadi isn’t communicating with others and no one is aware of his or her plans, how are our intelligence and law enforcement assets supposed to detect them “left of bang” (before the attack)?

Unfortunately, here in the West, and the U.S. in particular, we have failed to even properly identify the nature of the threat. A popular term in Western vernacular to describe the threat of individual jihad is the term “lone wolf.”

The term “lone wolf” does not appear in Islamic doctrine, nor is it part of any Jihadist group ideology.

What is part of Islamic doctrine and Jihadist ideology is the concept of Jihad as an individual obligation. So what we have been seeing around the world are acts of individual jihad based on Islamic doctrine and Jihadist ideology. Given the basis for these attacks, they are not “senseless violence.” We can explain and understand these attacks based upon Islamic doctrine and Jihadist ideology.

Most importantly, the wave of individual jihadi attacks in recent years is all part of plans articulated by Jihadi ideologues:

Successful jihad will only happen within an ummah [Islamic nation or community] in which the fighting creed is firmly established and clarified. This must happen in order to attain the “Revolutionary Jihadist Climate” that will spontaneously give rise to instruments of resistance.

 Violent jihad is as an individual duty obligatory upon every Muslim. All the ulema have said this…”

The Call to Global Islamic Resistance
Abu Musab al-Suri
Al Qaeda propagandist
Captured in Pakistan 2005

We are now seeing this “Revolutionary Jihadist Climate” in the West as evidenced by the rise of seemingly spontaneous acts of Jihad carried out by individual Muslims with no known direct contacts with Jihadist organizations.

It is this threat that we are most likely to see this Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from your Local Jihadi

Warnings in Jihadist literature and on Jihadi social media aren’t meant to give us a heads up. They are meant to inspire individual Jihadis to rise up and attack, in this case during the Christmas season. If recent history is any indication, we will see an act of deadly jihad somewhere in the West as a result of these communications.

The Christmas and New Year season is a particularly high-risk period as it offers unusually large numbers of potentially high-value and high-casualty targets, not just in places like New York, London, Paris and Berlin, but in just about every major city in the West.

The holiday season brings large crowds at sporting events, Christmas celebrations and ceremonies, churches, parks, restaurants and other gathering locations. In addition, the holiday season is also characterized by high volumes of leisure travel leading to large numbers of travellers in airports and train depots. The vast number of potential targets makes it virtually impossible for homeland security and law enforcement agencies to deploy enough personnel to successfully prevent every possible attack.

The Western holiday season is particularly attractive to Islamic jihadists because any successful attack, even a minor one, becomes a propaganda victory that can inspire others to follow suit and aid in Jihadist organization recruitment (despite what the U.S. government has said, Jihadis don’t recruit based on the prison at Gitmo; they recruit based on their successful attacks).

Jihadists have repeatedly demonstrated their will and capacity to plan and execute attacks during high-profile events. The Nice (July 216), Berlin (December 2016) and Manchester (May 2017) attacks show how individual jihadis and small cells can successfully carry out mass-casualty attacks. Despite their resounding defeats in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State continues to benefit from supporters in the West, which means there is a greater risk of terrorist attacks in the West during the holiday season.

We are most likely to see vehicle jihad using large trucks, knife jihad (stabbings) and shooting attacks, but improvised explosive device (IED) attacks are certainly also a possibility using pressure cookers (Boston marathon bombing), fertilizer and diesel fuel (1993 World Trade Center bombing) or propane tanks (failed Time Square VBIED attack).

This is why intelligence services and foreign service offices continue to issue bulletins almost on a daily basis for Europe. As Christmas nears, we should expect to see such alerts issued for major events in the U.S. as well.

British police arrest two Jihadis, disrupt “significant plot”

vl353091052_18x9

by Christopher W. Holton

Late yesterday British counterterrorism police arrested two Jihadis who were reportedly planning attacks in London and Birmingham.

Details are scarce but it has been reported that the two suspects were 20 and 21 years old and were “inspired” by the Islamic State.

More to follow as information comes available.

An Insane Way to Fight a War

by Christopher W. Holton

Though many would still deny this reality, Islamic Jihadists are at war with America.

They are not homogenous and certainly not united, but Jihadists from groups we know by name (Al Qaeda, the Islamic State) and some from groups whose names are not commonly known are at war with us–whether we want to be in a war with them or not.

One time and place in which our Jihadist enemies launched an act of war against the United States occurred on 11 September 2012 in Benghazi, Libya.

In that action 4 Americans were killed, including a US ambassador and two brave military contractors. 10 more Americans were wounded.

Let’s examine the salient facts of this attack:

It was carried out by a group called Ansar al-Sharia, a Jihadist organization based in Libya made up of Libyan jihadists.

The attack(s) occurred at two places in Benghazi, Libya.

Obviously, the proper response to this act of war would have been to seek out, close with and destroy the members of Ansar al-Shariah, wherever they are. If any of the Jihadists survived the operation they should have been taken prisoner as irregular enemy combatants and treated as such.

Unfortunately, this is not the way that the Obama administration decided to handle the situation.

In 2014, the US military, following Obama’s policies, captured the reported ringleader of the Benghazi attacks, Ahmed Abu Khattala in an operation IN LIBYA.

Unbelievably, Khattala was brought aboard a US Navy ship and, eventually, Mirandized.

He was brought to the US and charged with some 18 crimes, including murder.

Note that he wasn’t charged with a war crime, he was simply charged with murder, the same way a gangbanger from a bad neighborhood in any US city would be after a drive-by shooting.

We have now seen the outcome of this insane policy of fighting a war with lawyers:

Yesterday, a jury in Washington acquitted Khattala of 14 of the 18 charges he faced after deliberating for 5 days following a 7 week trial.

Khattala was convicted on 4 charges including conspiracy to provide material support for terrorism, maliciously destroying and injuring dwellings and property as well as using and carrying a semi-automatic weapon during a crime of violence.

Fortunately, Khattala still faces up to 60 years in prison, but the fact that he was acquitted of the most serious charges against him illustrates the dangerous folly of confronting an enemy who is fighting a war against us this way.

It is one thing to apprehend a Jihadi in the United States after he carries out an attack here and trying him in our courts, especially if he is a US citizen.

It is quite another to go capture a foreign terrorist in a foreign country after he attacked the US in that foreign country and then bring him back stateside to face a jury trial.

That is pure insanity and it must never happen again.

The Muslim Brotherhood: the Grandfather of all Sunni Jihadist Groups

muslimbrotherhood2

posted by Christopher W. Holton

The Muslim Brotherhood is the forerunner of all modern Jihadist terror organizations: HAMAS, Al Qaeda, the Islamic State all can trace their origins to the Muslim Brotherhood.

In the case of HAMAS, it is in actuality THE Muslim Brotherhood in the West Bank and Gaza.

Islam provides the doctrinal basis for the Muslim Brotherhood and its modern offspring. But it is largely the Muslim Brotherhood and its ideologues–Qutb, al Banna and others–that provided the ideological underpinnings for Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and others.

Arab media is increasingly addressing the insidious role of the Muslim Brotherhood. The article excerpted and linked below would have been unheard of a dozen years ago.

The fight to uproot terrorism and extremism begins at its Muslim Brotherhood roots, with that organisation’s structure, doctrines and ideologues.

The US government has recently released to the public a large batch of documents that were recovered in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011. What strikes one immediately, in these documents, is how the terrorist ideology that obsessed Bin Laden was rooted in Muslim Brotherhood ideology. The Al-Qaeda leader was steeped in the literature published by the Muslim Brotherhood’s founders and ideologues…

This phenomenon is hardly unique among prominent terrorists and their organisations. The Muslim Brotherhood had always served as the “incubator” and the primary school in which terrorists take their first steps towards embracing extremist thought and its violent applications. Leaders of such organisations as Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya and the Islamic Jihad in Egypt emerged directly from the folds of Muslim Brotherhood thought and practice. Among the star students were current Al-Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahri, Mohamed Ata, who led that terrorist attack against the World Trade Center in New York on 11 September 2001, and the mastermind of the whole operation, Khaled Sheikh Mohamed. Although some of those individuals and organisations had their differences with the Muslim Brotherhood at some later juncture, their collective “jihadist” thought had its origins with the founders of the Muslim Brotherhood, whether in its first edition (Hassan Al-Banna) or its second edition (Sayed Qotb). While Qotb is always regarded as the father of contemporary terrorists, his ideas and outlooks can be traced to Al-Banna and the birth of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928.

Read the rest of this important article…

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/23056.aspx

 

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