A November 24 "hatemail" underscores the issue, titled "Muslims in America - violent clashing of cultures, basic incompatibility of Western thought and Muslim theocracy," then quoting Denver radio talk show host Peter Boyles (know.com) saying:
"Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims."
Not Jews, not Christians, not Hindus, not Buddhists, or persons from any of the lesser known religions, just Muslims with no understanding that Islam teaches love, not hate; peace, not violence; charity, not selfishness; and tolerance, not terrorism; or that Islam, Christianity and Judaism have common roots.
Yet according to Pat Robertson, Monday, November 9 on his 700 Club:
"Islam is a violent - I was going to say religion - but it's not a religion. It's a political system. It's a violent political system bent on the overthrow of governments of the world and world domination."
After the Fort Hood tragedy, the American Family Association (the "family values" anti-gay, pro-life, Islamophobic group) called for a ban on Muslims in the military, saying:
"This is not Islamophobia, it is Islamo-realism. The reason is simple: the more devout a Muslim is, the more of a threat he is to national security."
Given America's war on Islam, the nation's 6.5 million Muslims wonder if their turn is next.
It never ends, and on November 23, New York Times writer Andrea Elliott headlined, "Charges Detail Road to Terror for 20 in US," then continued saying:
"Federal officials on Monday unsealed terrorism-related charges against men they say were key actors in a recruitment effort that led roughly 20 young Americans to join a violent insurgent group (Al-Shabaab) in Somalia with ties to Al Qaeda." More on Al-Shabaab below.
Eight new suspects were charged in "one of the most extensive domestic terrorism investigations since" 9/11. Some have been arrested. Others remain at large, including "several believed to be still fighting" against the US-backed government and African Union paramilitary peacekeepers in Somalia. More on that as well.
On November 23, a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release headlined, "Terror Charges Unsealed in Minneapolis Against Eight Men, Justice Department Announces," then continued saying:
Terrorism offenses were against eight defendants, charged with "providing financial support to those who traveled to Somalia to fight on behalf of al-Shabaab, a designated foreign terrorist organization; attending terrorist training camps operated by al-Shabaab; and fighting on behalf of al-Shabaab."
Through indictments or criminal complaints, 14 so far have been charged "in connection with....the recruitment of persons from US communities to train with or fight on behalf of extremist groups in Somalia. Four....previously pleaded guilty and await sentencing."
According to court documents, from September 2007 - October 2009, about 20 young Somali Americans left Minneapolis for Somalia to train with Al-Shabaab, and many fought with it against Ethiopian forces, "African Union troops, and the internationally-supported Transitional Federal Government (TFG)."
After "raising money" in America and working with "alleged co-conspirators in Somalia, six men went there in December 2007." On arrival, they "allegedly stayed at safe-houses....and attended an al-Shabaab training camp (where they were instructed in) small arms, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and military-style tactics. Allegedly, (they were also) indoctrinated with anti-Ethiopian, anti-American, anti-Israeli and anti-Western beliefs."
On October 29, 2008, one man, Shirwa Ahmed (known as Shirwa), "took part in one of five simultaneous suicide attacks on targets in northern Somalia. (He) drove an explosive-laden Toyota truck into an office of the Puntland Intelligence Service in Bossasso, Puntland. Other targets included a second (Puntland office), the Presidential Palace, the United Nations Development Program office and the Ethiopian Trade Mission in Hargeisa." About 20 people were killed.
On November 23, three charging documents included:
(1) a five-count indictment charging Mahamud Said Omar with terrorism, saying he's a Somali citizen who became a permanent US resident in 1994; that he "conspired with others to provide financial assistance as well as personnel to terrorists and foreign terrorist organizations;" and that he "allegedly visited an al-Shabaab safe-house and provided hundreds of dollars to fund the purchase of AK-47 rifles for men from Minneapolis." Omar is in custody in the Netherlands from where his extradition is sought.
(2) a "second superseding indictment charging Ahmed Ali Omar, Khalid Abshir, Zakaria Maruf, Mohammed Hassan and Mustafa Salat with terrorism-related offenses;" in summer 2009, "these men were charged with conspiracy to kill, kidnap, main and injure people outside the United States; possessing and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence; and solicitation to commit a crime of violence;" none are in custody; all are believed to be living outside America.
(3) on October 9, 2009, "a criminal complaint was filed, charging Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax and Abdiweli Yassin Isse with conspiracy to kill, kidnap, main or injure persons outside the United States;" in three interrogations, Faarax denied all charges; Faarax and Isse aren't in custody and are believed to be living outside America.
The DOJ said four men pleaded guilty, including:
-- on February 18, 2009, Kamal Said Hassan to "one count of providing material support to terrorists and one count of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization;" on August 12, 2009 to "one count of making false statements to the FBI;" Hassan is in custody awaiting sentencing;
-- on April 24, 2009, Abdifatah Yusuf Isse "entered a guilty plea to one count of providing material support to terrorists;"
-- on July 28, 2009, Salah Osman Ahmed "entered a guilty plea to one count of providing material support to terrorists;" both men are in custody awaiting sentencing;
-- on November 2, 2009, Adarus Abdulle Ali "pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of perjury for making false statements to a federal grand jury in December 2008;" he was released pending a sentencing hearing;
-- on October 13, 2009, Abdow Munye Abdow was indicted on two counts of "making false statements to the FBI;" he's been released pending trial; and
-- on November 19, 2009, Omer Abdi Mohamed "was arrested on charges that he conspired to provide material support to terrorists; that he provided material support to terrorists; and that he conspired to kill, kidnap, maim and injure persons outside the United States."
The Philadelphia Five
On the same day, November 23, the Philadelphia Inquirer headlined, "5 accused of trying to buy Stinger missiles," then continuing saying:
"The FBI terrorism task force in Philadelphia has arrested five (Muslim) men of Lebanese origin, following an extensive international undercover sting in which one of the men allegedly tried to purchase 100 Stinger missiles designed to shoot down aircraft," meant for the "Resistance," implying Palestinians to be used against Israelis.
According to an affidavit by FBI Supervisory Agent Samuel Smemo Jr. of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, an undercover agent supposedly met Dani Nemr Tarraf, one of the accused, in Slovakia in May where he allegedly asked for missiles able to "take down an F-16" and 250 M4 Carbine machine guns.
A same day DOJ press release "announced arrests in a case involving a conspiracy to procure weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles."
Charged was Dani Nemr Tarraf "with conspiring to acquire anti-aircraft missiles (FIM-92 Stingers) and conspiring to possess machine guns (approximately 10,000 Colt M4 Carbines). In addition, Tarraf and other defendants - including Douri Nemr Tarraf, Hassan Mohamad Komeiha, and Hussein Ali Asfour - were charged with conspiring to transport stolen goods. Dani Nemr Tarraf and Ali Fadel Yahfoufi were (also) charged with conspiring to commit passport fraud."
Numerous previous articles by this writer exposed fraudulent DOJ charges against Muslim men and one woman. Paid informants entrapped them. Each time there was no plot, no crime, or an intention to commit one. Charges were baseless against innocent victims who were targeted, persecuted, arrested, imprisoned, kept in isolation, denied bail, restricted on their right to counsel, tried on secret evidence and bogus charges, convicted by intimidated juries, then given long prison terms for their faith, ethnicity, activism, charity, prominence, and mostly for being Muslims in America at the wrong time.
-- the "Fort Dix Five," for planning to wage war against the US Army at the New Jersey base;
-- Yassin Aref and Mohammed Mosharref Hossain for seeking a missile to use against the Pakistani ambassador in New York;
-- the Newburgh, NY 4 for wanting stinger missiles to down New York-based Air National Guard jets and blow up New York synagogues;
-- the North Carolina 7 for plotting war against the Marines at Quantico, VA;
-- Najibullah Zazi for planning to bomb one or more major New York sites on or around September 11, 2009;
-- Miami's Liberty City Seven for plotting to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower and a Miami FBI building;
-- Tariq Mehanna charged with "conspiracy to provide support to terrorists" after he refused to be an FBI paid informant against other Muslim men in his community;
-- Aafia Siddiqui, called "Al Qaeda woman" for planning a mass casualty attack with radiological, chemical, and/or biological weapons against one of more of the following targets - the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, Wall Street, and the animal disease center on Plum Island; and
-- numerous other innocent victims falsely accused in America's war on Islam.
Later, look for evidence to exonerate the Minneapolis and Philadelphia suspects, manipulated by undercover or paid informants to look guilty when, in fact, they're innocent.
On the Horn of Africa, Somalia is strategically adjacent to the Red Sea, Suez Canal, and vital commercial waterways, and with neighboring Sudan is valued for its potential oil and gas reserves that America, China, India and other nations covet. In December 2006, Washington-backed Ethiopian forces unseated the governing Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), installing a Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in its place. Thousands were killed. Over a million became refugees.
The Ethopians withdrew in January 2009 following an agreement between the TFG and the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) - a UIC coalition with other opposition forces - yet fighting continues with America backing TRG/African Union forces to keep Islamists from regaining power. UIC members aren't terrorists or connected to Al Qaeda. They're freedom fighters, struggling to liberate their country and end years of conflict, divisions and instability.
As James Petras explained:
"The UIC was a relatively honest administration, which ended warlord corruption and extortion. Personal safety and property were protected, ending arbitrary seizures and kidnappings by warlords and their armed thugs.
The UIC is a broad multi-tendency movement that includes moderates and radical Islamists, civilian politicians and armed fighters, liberals and populists, electoralists and authoritarians. Most important, the Courts succeeded in unifying the country and creating some semblance of nationhood, overcoming clan fragmentation."
Mogadishu traders initially set it up to bring order to the city's insecurity and end clan divisions after years of instability, civil war, and no stable government in most parts of the country.
Al-Shabaab and other opposition forces continue the struggle. Stratfor, a leading online geopolitical intelligence publisher describes it as follows:
"After Ethiopian forces beat back the Supreme Islamic Courts Council (SICC) in 2007, (its) armed wings dissolved into the ungoverned savannah in the south, (and) the Mogadishu underground and safe zones in central Somalia. They eventually re-formed under the leadership of Aden Farah Ayro....and Sheikh Hassan Turki....assumed the name al Shabaab and sought to continue the fight against the new Somalian government and its Ethiopian backers with an insurgency-style approach. Portions of al Shabaab have also been known to call themselves the Mujahideen Youth Movement (MYM)."
"The group's core leadership comprises senior militants (some linked to Al Qaeda), while its rank-and-file membership is (made up) largely (of) untrained Somalian youths. Al Shabaab is estimated to have 6,000 to 7,000 members."
Operationally, it's fairly new, but as "the SICC's militant wing, it gained notoriety before the SICC took over Mogadishu in June 2006...."
The US National Counterrorism Center says that:
"Since the end of 2006, (Al-Shabaab) led a violent insurgency, using guerrilla warfare and terrorist tactics against the continued Ethiopian presence in Somalia, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, and (NGOs)."
As a result, on February 29, 2008, the US State Department designated it a Foreign Terrorist Organization under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (as amended) and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224 (as amended).
On Al Jazeera, One Al-Shabaab leader, Sheikh Muktar Robow, welcomed the news, saying:
"Al-Shabaab feels honored to be included on the list. We are good Muslims and the Americans are infidels. We are on the right path." In their eyes, they're freedom fighters against foreign invaders and the western-backed government, loathed for its complicity, corruption, and warlord-committed massacres and other crimes.
The New York Times says Al-Shabaab:
"is nominally led by Sheikh Mohamed Mukhtar Abdirahman (Abu Zubeyr), though experts say a core group of senior leaders guide its actions. The group is divided into three geographical units: Bay and Bokool regions, led by Mukhtar Roobow (Abu Mansur), the group's spokesman; south-central Somalia and Mogadishu; and Puntland and Somaliland."
"A fourth unit, which controls the Juba Valley, is led by Hassan Abdillahi Hersi (Turki), who is not considered to be a (group) member, but is closely aligned with it. These regional units 'appear to operate independently of one another, and there is often evidence of friction between them,' according to a December 2008 UN Monitoring Group report."
"Experts strongly caution that there is little the United States can do to weaken Shabab." They say US-launched air strikes and support for a loathed government "only increased (its) popular support...."
Former UIC shura council leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys now heads his own group, Hisbul Islam, allied with Al-Shabaab and others against TRG/African Union Forces. On November 5, the independent news web site, Garowe Online (garowonline.com), reported him saying that:
"his group (and Al-Shabaab are) fighting to liberate the Somali people and impose Islamic Sharia law....We told (Mogadishu) businessmen to join the war....(urged them) to contribute in rebuilding the destroyed roads in Mogadishu," help restore stability in the country, and support its liberation.
Like the US-funded, armed and trained Afghan mujaheddin (Islamist guerrillas Ronald Reagan called "freedom fighters") and the country's current Taliban resistance, Al-Shabaab, Hisbul Islam, and other Islamist fighters want Somalia freed from the US-backed TFG government and African Union paramilitaries.
Insurgency defeated Soviet forces in Afghanistan, and let the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) consolidate power in 2006 before Ethiopian invaders ousted them. According to Sheikh Mukhtar Robow, non-Somali Islamic fighters have joined them. Washington calls them terrorists, the usual designation for anyone against imperial aggression and dominance.
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to the Lendman News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday - Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening.