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Tag: Muslims

FBI: ISIS Threatens to Kill Moderate Muslim Leaders in America

ISIS flag

ISIS flag

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ISIS has threatened to kill a Michigan Muslim leader for his outspoken views against extremism.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, 71, of Fenton, was among five Muslim-American religious leaders and scholars whom ISIS listed in its online magazine as people who should be killed for being “apostates” and “crusaders.”

ISIS also called for the death of five Muslim American politician or government officials, including U.S. Rep Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Huma Abedin, a close aide to Hillary Clinton.

The FBI confirmed the death threats.

“We are aware of the information, but beyond that, we are not commenting at this time,” said Jill Washburn, spokeswoman for the Detroit office of the FBI.

Ex-CIA and NSA Director: Trump’s Rhetoric Has Made U.S. ‘Less Safe Already’

Michael Hayden

Michael Hayden

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The former director of the NSA and CIA criticized Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, saying his rhetoric is compromising Americans’ safety.

Michael Hayden said Trump’s statements on barring Muslims from entering the country were particularly “detrimental.”

“It’s made us less safe already,” Hayden said.

Hayden said the rhetoric “reinforces their narrative” that America and Islam are incompatible.

Other troubling statements involved Trump’s call to bring back torture to get information from suspected terrorists.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Foils Terrorist-Style Plot to Kill Dozens of People in Milwaukee Masonic Center

Samy Mohamed Mamzeh

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI foiled a terrorist-style plot by three Muslims to use automatic weapons to kill dozens of people at a Masonic center in Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports. 

Authorities arrested Samy Mohamed Mamzeh, who is accused off planning the attack and “eliminating everyone” in the building.

The 23-year-old was charged with possessing a machine gun and silencer, but no terrorism counts were included, at least not yet.

“We are Muslims, defending Muslim religion, we are on our own, my dear, we have organized our own group,” Hamzeh said, according to the criminal complaint.

“Such operations will increase in America, when they hear about it. The people will be scared and the operations will increase, and there will be problems all over,… this will lead to people clashing with each other. This way we will be igniting it. I mean we are marching at the front of the war,” he said, according to the complaint.

It was a “detailed plan to commit a mass shooting intended to kill dozens of people,” said acting U.S. Attorney George J. Hannstad.

“(Hamzeh) also said that he wanted this mass shooting to be ‘known the world over’ and to ‘ignite’ broader clashes. It is difficult to calculate the injury and loss of life that was prevented by concerned citizens coming forward and by the tireless efforts of the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force.”

Hamzeh didn’t appear to be working with an established terrorist group and instead said, “We have our own group, not with Hamas, … we are here defending Islam, young people together join to defend Islam, that’s it, that is what our intention is.”

Homeland Security Secretary: Stop ‘Vilifying Muslims’ and Keep Focus on Terrorists

mosque

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson spoke out against disparaging American Muslims, saying the focus is on radicals who are attempting to recruit would-be terrorists, Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. 

“Vilifying Muslim communities in this country is frankly contrary to our homeland security interests,” Johnson, a Morehouse College alum, told the Rotary Club of Atlanta at the Loudermilk Center. “Building bridges to these communities — encouraging them to work with us — is vital.”

Johnson, who in the past has criticized Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for his anti-Muslim messages, didn’t mention anyone specific in the speech.

Johnson said he’s communicating with Muslims across the country.

“We are working with the tech sector,” he said, “to help Muslim communities build the message that counters the targeting and the efforts of the Islamic State.”

FBI Issues Alert about Gun-Toting Phoenix Man En Route to Confront Muslim Group

Jon Ritzheimer, via Facebook.

Jon Ritzheimer, via Facebook.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has taken the unusual step of warning New York law enforcement about an anti-Muslim protester who has driven from Arizona to the east coast to confront a group of Muslims, the New York Daily News reports.

Jon Ritzheimer, 32, of Phoenix, posted a video on Nov. 18 with a gun, saying he was going to confront the Muslims.

The FBI was in contact with the former Marine until he became angry and shut off communication while in Scranton, Pa.

Investigators believe he is en route to Hancock, N.Y., where the Muslims of America is located.

Donald Trump’s Call for Spying on U.S. Muslims Recalls Darker Times in FBI

Donald Trump, via Twitter

Donald Trump, via Twitter

By Juan Cole
Truthdig.com

As Donald Trump supporters beat a ‘Black Lives Matter’ protester at his rally in Birmingham, Ala., Trump himself reminded us of the dark days when a paranoid J. Edgar Hoover had the FBI monitor the Rev. Martin Luther King and black Churches of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Trump said in Birmingham, “I want surveillance of certain mosques . . . We’ve had it before, we’ll have it again. … We have a situation where ISIS has raised its ugly head again and we have to chop off that head like they’re chopping off heads.”  He also said he would send Syrian refugees back to Syria if he were elected.  Many Syrian refugees have fled because they would be killed in their homeland.

The African-American protester was beaten, kicked and pulled down, with 8 or 9 people on top of him, as he was called a “monkey” and the N-word.  You wonder if they were wearing brown shirts. The Trump campaign later said it did not condone the behavior, but we haven’t heard Trump himself publicly denounce it. During the altercation, Trump said from the podium, “Yeah, you can get him out. Yeah, get him out. Get him the hell out of here.”

Trump’s desire to spy on American congregations recalls Cointelpro and other domestic surveillance programs of the 1960s that led to massive abuses and in some ways led to Watergate under Nixon.

To read more click here. 

FBI’s Program about Violent Extremism in Schools Draws Criticism

schoolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An interactive program designed by the FBI to help teachers and students identify warning signs of violent extremism has drawn strong criticism Muslims and civil rights leaders, the New York Times reports. 

The program, called “Don’t Be a Puppet,” predominately focuses on Islamic extremism, even though that has not been a factor in school shootings and attacks.

The New York Times wrote:

In the campaign against terrorists such as the Islamic State, law enforcement agencies have been stepping up efforts to identify those susceptible to recruitment. The agencies have enlisted the cooperation and advice of religious and community leaders. But the controversy over the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s new online tool is one more indication that there is no consensus on who should be involved in detecting and reporting suspects, and where to draw the line between prevention and racial or religious profiling.

“The F.B.I. is developing a website designed to provide awareness about the dangers of violent extremist predators on the Internet,” a spokeswoman for the agency said late Sunday, “with input from students, educators and community leaders.”

American-Arab Advocate: More Transparency Needed Over FBI Spy Planes

fbi-logBy Fatina Abdrarraboh
for Detroit News

Earlier this month, The Detroit News reported about a series of missions by an FBI spy plane over Dearborn. The plane, which is outfitted with a night vision camera and listening device equipment, flew over a portion of Dearborn and Melvindale for multiple nights. Melvindale has a growing Arab-American population. The section of Dearborn that was flown over have two mosques around the flight pattern of this particular spy plane.

The FBI claims that the flights over this area were not for surveilling the community and are routinely used to track drug dealers and violent extremists. In a statement, FBI Special Agent in Charge of Metro Detroit Paul Abbate stated, “The FBI does not employ aviation assets to conduct mass surveillance, nor to target specific communities…Further, the FBI Detroit Field Office is not aware of any specific or credible threats within the local Detroit Metropolitan Area.”

Given a lack of transparency regarding what spy planes are really doing, as well as the FBI’s track record locally, a number of questions remain unanswered.

Since the FBI stated there were no specific or credible threats, why were they flying over one particular area for multiple nights? Given that the FBI has used the problematic practice of sending informants into mosques, are they also able to take pictures of cars in one location, like in a mosque parking lot? When using their listening equipment on the spy plane, are they listening and capturing private cell phone conversations?

In recent years, the ACLU uncovered a 2009 FBI memorandum stating that Dearborn was on their radar “because Michigan has a large Middle Eastern and Muslim population, it is prime territory for attempted radicalization and recruitment by terrorist groups.” There is no evidence to suggest that this mapping has ceased, even though there is not a single conviction involving a local Muslim going abroad to join an extremist group in the past decade from the community’s approximately 300,000 people.

Our respective organizations’ constituents, Metro Detroit, and indeed the country have much at stake in the pursuit to ensure individual rights and liberties are protected. We appreciate The Detroit News’ reporting, which provoked questions about the spy plane as well as similar issues prior to this. Investigative reporting is what differentiates open and democratic societies from totalitarian ones. It is media which helps to keep the nation’s citizenry informed in order that we can be more aware when holding our government accountable.

To read more click here. 

Fatina Abdrarraboh is director of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee – Michigan.