TBR News January 10, 2015

Jan 11 2015

The Voice of the White House

        Washington, D.C. December 10, 2015:”The terrorist mayhem in France is neither the beginning nor the end of the Muslim extremist movement. It is difficult, if not impossible, for any government to interdict the actions of a single fanatic or even two or three. What happened in Paris could easily happen in England or the United States and no agency tasked with internal control could ever prevent it. If the Unabomber’s brother had not informed on him to the FBI, for money, he would still be building his bombs. Unfortunately, the end result of the slaughter will be the rapid rise of the anti-immigrants throughout Europe. Trust it that smarmy politicians, used to the Universal Brotherhood and Understanding movements will stammer, shift and finally swing over to such actions as mass deportation. They might personally deplore this sort of thing but they lust to survive and reap the personal, and often financial, rewards of high office.”


Fears of turning point for French politics after Charlie Hebdo attack

Shooting may have long-term implications for a society already witness to a rise in xenophobic and anti-Islam sentiment

January 7, 2015

by Angelique Chrisafis in Paris

The Guardian

François Hollande, ashen-faced and quick to the scene of France’s most violent attack in decades, appealed for national unity after what he called “an act of exceptional barbarism” when gunmen killed 12 people at the Paris offices of the country’s most famous satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo.

But as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in cities across France to condemn the shooting, many feared for the long-term implications for a French society already witness to a steady rise in xenophobic and anti-Islam sentiment, and a political landscape increasingly polarised with the far-right Front National having steadily made large electoral gains.

The daylight assault on the magazine was described by the French president as a “terrorist attack, there is no doubt about it”. While the shooting remained unclaimed, with the perpetrators still on the loose and no certainty as to who they were, there was a rallying together of the political class.

But it seemed clear that when the identities of those behind the attack did emerge the already beleaguered Socialist government would be pressed to address security, policing and the political implications of an attack on a magazine that had long been under threat.

The political mood was tense. France is engaged in a new military operation in the Sahel region of north Africa in an effort to stop the emergence of jihadist groups. About 3,000 soldiers are deployed in a vast area from Mauritania to Niger and Chad, following an earlier French intervention in Mali in 2013 to counter an Islamist insurgency. That Mali intervention was such a priority for Hollande that he declared a visit to the capital, Bamako, “the most important day” of his political life.

Meanwhile, France has been deeply concerned about significant numbers of its own nationals going to fight as jihadis in Syria and Iraq, then returning. The government recently drew up tough counter-terrorism laws to try to deal with jihadis, prompting civil liberties groups to raise concerns.

Pollsters have described France as socially fragmented, more pessimistic than ever, economically under pressure and experiencing a rise in far-right voters and sympathisers.

Marine Le Pen’s Front National topped the European elections, and a series of steady electoral gains means it now has MPs, senators and several new mayors dotted around France, as well as strong polling before local and regional elections this year.

Le Pen has emerged as a key figure for the 2017 presidential election race. On Wednesday she said she was horrified by the “hateful attack” on the magazine. The former president Nicolas Sarkozy, head of the traditional right-wing UMP, spoke of a “national tragedy”.

Hollande, now halfway into his mandate and rated as the least popular French president in modern history, had recently seen his approval numbers rise slightly. With an eye on possibly re-running for president in 2017, he had swapped his trademark technical musings on the nation’s economic woes for a more tolerant discourse on immigration and the country’s diversity to bridge a growing divide.

For months the French media has been dominated by controversial polemics about Islam, its place in French society, and Islamophobia. This week came the publication of Soumission(Submission), a novel by Michel Houellebecq imagining France led by a Muslim party. Before that there was French Suicide, a bestselling book in which a conservative journalist questions the impact of Muslim immigration to France.

Hollande’s aim for this month had been to rise above the melee of daily political sparring. But the first big challenge for him – and, notably, for his prime minister, Manuel Valls, known as a tough cop who formerly ran the interior ministry – now will be to address questions about how the Charlie Hebdo attack was possible, and what effect it will have on security, the wider political discourse and strains on society.

One political analyst, Jérôme Sainte-Marie, at PollingVox, described the attack as an unprecedented moment for France. “With public opinion already prepared to have negative thoughts on Islam, coupled with the extremely fragile government and fragile social situation, it will be a turning point. It will crystallise and concentrate all sorts of things in public opinion. It will have very serious and lasting consequences on political life in France.”

He said the symbolism of the attack, including the deaths of two police officers, was terrible and would mark the spirit forever. While France had previously encountered terrorism alongside international events, particularly in Algeria, he said, the context now was new – namely “the rising preoccupation in France and Europe with Islam and its place in society”.

Sainte-Marie said the parties talking about Islam and immigration, notably the Front National, were more likely to profit politically, while those who stood to lose were the government and France’s large minority of well-integrated Muslims going about their daily lives.

Polling showed that since 2010 there has been a growth of xenophobic and anti-Islam sentiment, he said.

The political analyst and pollster Emmanuel Rivière, head of opinion at the marketing firm TNS Sofres, said it was too early to know what the political impact would be on this year’s local and regional elections. He said one theory was that the Front National would be get a boost. But he said the left, which had a problem of voters abstaining, might get more socialists, centrists or those on the traditional right, turning out to vote to limit far-right gains.

Rivière said the attack was “deeply symbolic”, and the public mood was already very different to that in 2012 after the gunman Mohamed Merah killed seven people in three separate shootings in Toulouse, including at a Jewish school.

“The context is worse than in 2012,” he said, adding that the rise of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and the issue of young French jihadis joining the conflict had heightened tensions.



Muslims in Europe fear anti-Islamic mood will intensify after Paris attacks

Anti-immigrant politicians from Germany to Sweden citing Charlie Hebdo killings as support for their position

January 9, 2015

by Kate Connolly in Berlin, Angelique Chrisafis in Paris and Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome

The Guardian

In mosques across Germany on Friday prayers were dedicated to the victims of the Paris terror attacks. And next week members from Germany’s 900 mosque communities will be invited to take part in candlelit vigils in their memory.

“We will ask God to give his rich blessing to all victims of terror and violence,” Bekir Alboga, head of inter-religious dialogue for the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs, told the media. “We are trying to see if we can get the Christian churches to join us.”

Fear is rife in Germany – and not only among Muslims – that the murderous attacks in Paris will intensify an already growing anti-Islamic mood in the country.

“I seriously hope that this doesn’t lead to an escalation of anti-Islamism and of Islamists,” the political scientist Gesine Schwan told broadcaster Deutschlandfunk as she stopped by the French embassy in Berlin to pay her respects. Schwan, who once stood as a candidate for the German presidency, said: “That would be another fatal twist and a dangerous one.”

In the light of the growing Pegida movement – a grouping of disillusioned citizens, neo-Nazis and football hooligans who oppose Muslim immigration and have been backed by the anti-immigration party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) – the debate in Germany since the attacks in the French capital has been particularly nervous.

Such organisations, just like other populist and anti-immigrant parties gaining support in the polls across Europe, have been quick to make political capital from the attacks, citing them as proof that all their fears about Islamism were true.

“This bloodbath proves that those who laughed at or ignored the fears of so many people about a looming danger of Islamism were wrong,” said Alexander Gauland, a regional leader of AfD, which has its roots in the euro crisis and is currently riding at 25% in nationwide polls, on the day of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. “This gives new weight to Pegida demands.”

In France the leader of the far-right Front National, Marine Le Pen, went further. “We must be in a position to respond to the war that has been declared by Islamist fundamentalism,” she said after a meeting on Friday of party leaders called at the Élysée Palace by the president, François Hollande.

“I regret that word has not been uttered by [Hollande] nor other politicians. The first thing when one is fighting a war is to be able to know what we’re fighting. We’re fighting an ideology, Islamist fundamentalism. Not to say it is a proof of weakness.”

            Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician who faces trial for inciting racial hatred, repeated the sentiment that Europe is now “at war”. He called for the “de-Islamisation” of the west, adding in a statement: “We have to close our borders, reinstate border controls, get rid of political correctness, introduce administrative detention and stop immigration from Islamic countries.” Wilders’ Party for Freedom was once on the fringe of politics, but nowadays enjoys strong support in the polls.

In the UK, Nigel Farage was accused of using the attacks for political gain after he denounced Britain’s “gross policy of multiculturalism”. In an interview with Channel 4 News he said there was a very strong argument to see the attacks as a result of “a fifth column” who lived in Paris and London.

All of the anti-immigrant parties expect the attacks to boost support for their cause and are enjoying the chance to promote their particular demands.

In Switzerland Walter Wobmann, the Swiss People’s party politician who led the successful campaign to ban the construction of minarets, said it was now time to ban certain groups of Muslim refugees. He said there should be an immediate blanket ban placed on Muslim asylum seekers from Iraq and Syria coming to Switzerland. Martine Brunschwig Graf, head of the national commission against racism, condemned his position as “discriminatory”, saying it “resolves nothing and contributes to an atmosphere of hate and witch hunting”.

Italy’s leading rightwing politician also stepped up his anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric, repeating his call for a ban on new mosques and Muslim cultural centres.

Matteo Salvini, head of the Northern League, which is gaining popularity, took to the airwaves to criticise Muslims in Italy for “trying to impose a way of life that is incompatible with ours”. He said for Europeans “to respond with tolerance and political correctness is suicide”. He also said Pope Francis was “doing a disservice” to Catholics because of his support for interfaith dialogue.

“Peace is fine,” he said. “But as a spokesman for all Catholics, you should be concerned with those who are slaughtering you all over the world.”

In Sweden Björn Söder, one of the leading members of the Sweden Democrats party, faced a backlash over the Facebook post he made directly after the Paris shootings: “The religion of peace shows its face.” Fellow politicians reported Söder – who is also a deputy speaker in the Swedish parliament – to police who were investigating charges of racial agitation against him.

As well as increasing their vigilance in public spaces across Europe, authorities said they were keeping a close eye on large gatherings, especially those where tensions between political opponents were in danger of spilling over.

Security concerns in Rome have prompted increased vigilance before Sunday’s football derby between Rome’s two main teams, Roma and Lazio, at the Stadio Olimpico. Local officials warned fans they would not tolerate any anti-Muhammad banners or signs attacking politicians at the match that could be deemed provocative.

Such games are routinely seen as a cause for concern. But Rome’s deputy mayor, Luigi Nieri, suggested that the preparations for Sunday were being handled with extra sensitivity.

“The climate is very delicate after the dramatic events that took place in Paris, and for that reason there’s a great sense of responsibility on everyone’s part,” he said.

Germany’s interior minister Thomas de Maizière called on Europeans to “reject all of this nonsense” from the political right.

Meanwhile Germany was bracing itself for fresh demonstrations in several cities on Monday by Pegida, whose supporters have been asked to wear black ribbons and take part in a “funeral march” in solidarity with the Paris victims.

An editorial in the Essen-based Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung condemned the marches as “hypocritical … cynicism at its height. Those very arsonists who spread exclusion and intolerance are now projecting an image of themselves as the upright citizens.”

The head of the German police trade union Rainer Wendt told Die Welt that he feared the event, which last week drew 18,000 supporters, had itself become a possible magnet for terrorists.

“It doesn’t take much imagination to see the many Islam-critical events, slogans and demonstrations as potential terror targets,” he said.

Pegida is also expected to meet in Vienna for the first time on Monday, it announced in a Facebook posting, as police in the Austrian capital investigate who sprayed the wall of a local mosque with the slogan “Paris! Islam = shit out.”


Marine Le Pen to Hollande: Suspend visa-free zone, strip terror suspects of French citizenship

January 10, 2015


 The leader of France’s rightwing Front National (FN), Marine Le Pen, has asked French President Francois Hollande to suspend the visa-free Schengen Area in Europe and strip dual nationals of their French citizenship if they carry out “barbaric crimes.”

“I expressed to the president the absolute necessity…to immediately suspend Schengen to be able to control our borders as an essential element in the fight against terrorism, and also the fight against arms trafficking,” Le Pen told reporters following a meeting with Hollande on Friday.

The Schengen Area consists of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and any other type of border controls. The agreement allows for both freedom of movement for both European citizens, Schengen visa holders and those who can travel in the area visa-free. Freedom of movement is considered “a fundamental right” guaranteed by the EU to its citizens.

Four EU states however – Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania – are yet to join the area despite being obliged to do so, sometimes due to resistance from other EU states.

Le Pen also turned her eye to the issue of dual-nationals who have been suspected of engaging in terror-related activities at home or abroad, saying such individuals should be stripped of their French citizenship.

“I also expressed the necessity – in another inevitable way – of measures for the removal or the forfeiture of citizenship for all of those who have dual citizenship who have left to train or fight in a foreign country, and then come back to our territory, to commit barbaric crimes, which seems to be the case with these two murderers who are currently in the process of being chased,” she said.

The measure would put France in line with the United Kingdom, where Home Secretary Theresa May currently has the power to strip foreign born terror suspects of their British citizenship if they possess another citizenship.

Hollande has yet to react to Le Pen’s proposals.

Le Pen made waves on Thursday by expressing her support for the death penalty, saying she would organize a referendum to reintroduce it if elected president in 2017.

Following Wednesday’s deadly attack on the office of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris, Le Pen made a passionate speech against Islamic fundamentalism, which she called an “odious ideology.”

While Hollande has called for national unity following the tragedy, Le Pen has openly pinned the attack on “radical Islam.”

“Time is up for denial and hypocrisy,” she said. “The absolute rejection of Islamic fundamentalism must be proclaimed loudly and clearly.”

Critics have accused Le Pen of ratcheting up anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments for political purposes.

France is home to Europe’s largest Muslim population, with nearly five million people practicing Islam out of a population of roughly 65 million.

As the president of FN, Le Pen has vowed to drastically curb immigration if elected president.

According to the latest opinion polls, if France were to hold its presidential election today, Le Pen would lead in the first round.

The French presidential election is set to be held in April and May 2017.


Source: Terror cells activated in France

January 11, 2015

by Ray Sanchez, Laura Smith-Spark and Hakim Almasmari, CNN


(CNN)—French law enforcement officers have been told to erase their social media presence and to carry their weapons at all times because terror sleeper cells have been activated over the last 24 hours in the country, a French police source who attended a briefing Saturday told CNN terror analyst Samuel Laurent.

Amedy Coulibaly, a suspect killed Friday during a deadly kosher market hostage siege, had made several phone calls about targeting police officers in France, according to the source.

It was one of a flurry of developments Saturday, including reporting in a French-language magazine that brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi had been under watch by the French, but despite red flags, authorities there lost interest in them.

L’Express national security reporter Eric Pelletier shared with CNN details of his story, for which he talked to multiple French officials.

Tipped off by U.S. intelligence agencies that Said Kouachi may have traveled to Yemen in July, France placed him under surveillance in November 2011 but terminated the scrutiny in June 2014 when French security services deemed him no longer dangerous, officials told Pelletier.

The surveillance of his brother Cherif terminated at the end of 2013 when his phone calls suggested he had disengaged with violent extremism and was focused on counterfeiting clothing and shoes.

A U.S. official told CNN’s Barbara Starr that Said Kouachi’s 2011 travel lasted three or more months and that he is believed to have trained with al Qaeda in Yemen during that period.

French intelligence officials believe there is a strong probability Cherif Kouachi also traveled to Yemen for a short trip in 2011, separately from his brother, Pelletier’s sources told him.

A Yemeni journalist and researcher, Mohammed al-Kibsi, told CNN that he had met and spoken with Said Kouachi in Yemen in 2011 and 2012.

But al-Kibsi, who said he met the man twice, said Said Kouachi was in Yemen most of 2011. Kouachi first went there in 2009 and stayed until mid-2010 before leaving briefly and returning at the end of that year, according to al-Kibsi.

Kouachi entered Yemen multiple times with an officially issued visa, a senior Yemeni national security official told CNN.

“Said was not being watched during the duration of his stay in Yemen because he was not on the watch list,” said the official, adding that, at the time, Yemen’s Western allies had not raised concerns about Kouachi. The official did not specify when the visits took place.

Kouachi, who was studying Arabic grammar, and underwear bomber Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab previously were roommates for one to two weeks in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, living in the same small apartment, al-Kibsi said. AbdulMutallab is serving a life sentence for trying to bring down a Northwest airlines flight over Detroit on Christmas in 2009 with an underwear bomb.

Kouachi’s residence was very near to the famous Al-Tabari School and he and AbdulMutallab used to pray together there, said al-Kibsi by telephone Saturday. It wasn’t clear when they were roommates, but AbdulMutallab was arrested after the 2009 bombing attempt.

There has been no official confirmation of the claim that he and AbdulMutallab were associates.

The Kouachi brothers, who authorities say carried out Wednesday’s deadly attack in the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, were killed Friday in a shootout with French security forces outside of Paris.

France, meanwhile, continues to cope with three days of terror that left 17 people dead. Thousands gathered on the streets for vigils Saturday and hundreds of thousands were expected at massive rallies Sunday, along with heads of state and other dignitaries.


Suspect’s significant other reportedly in Turkey


The alert came amid word that the lone remaining suspect wanted in connection with a terrorism spree — Hayat Boumeddiene — entered Turkey on January 2, a Turkish prime ministry source told CNN.

Boumeddiene was tracked by Turkish authorities to a location near the Turkey-Syria border, according to an official in the Turkish Prime Minister’s office.

Boumeddiene arrived at the Istanbul airport on a flight from Madrid with a man. During routine screening of passengers, the couple were flagged by Turkey’s Risk Assessment Center and a decision made to maintain surveillance on their movements, the official said. The official in the Turkish Prime Minister’s office would not elaborate as to when Boumeddiene was tracked to the border province.

That means Boumeddiene may not have been in France at the time of Thursday’s deadly shooting of a policewoman in Paris, as authorities originally believed. Authorities offered no immediate explanation of the discrepancy, but have said she is wanted in connection with a terrorist attack.

French authorities on Saturday asked security officials in Spain to look into the possibility that she transited through Spain on her way to Turkey, a source close to the Spanish officials said.


‘Nation relieved’


The attack at the Paris office of the Charlie Hebdo left 12 dead and shocked France.

“The nation is relieved tonight,” Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said after the two standoffs concluded

But the French government’s work is not over.

There’s still a lot of healing to do, and questions to answer on how this happened and how to prevent future attacks. Meanwhile, police continue the hunt for Boumeddiene, Coulibaly’s partner.

France will remain at a heightened security as investigations continue, Cazeneuve said after an emergency security meeting.

All necessary measures will also be taken to ensure the safety of people who attend a massive unity rally planned in Paris on Sunday, he said. Extra steps will also be taken to protect religious institutions.

Cazeneuve and other officials outlined the extraordinary security measures, including snipers, plainclothes and anti-terror officers as well as parking and transit restrictions, that will be in place for the rally.

             European leaders including Britain’s David Cameron, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Spain’s Mariano Rajoy will join French President François Hollande at the unity march. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will attend, according to Russia’s Foreign Ministry and Turkish semi-official news agency Anadolu.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will take part in Sunday’s march, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Queen Rania will participate, Jordan’s Embassy in Washington said. And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to France for the event, according to his office.

In a statement, Netanyahu said he spoke by phone with Celine Shreki, who was a hostage at the kosher market Friday.

“To Celine and all French Jews, and to all European Jews, I would like to say: The State of Israel is not just the place to which you turn in prayer. The State of Israel is also your home,” the statement said.

A total of 1,100 French troops are currently deployed in the Paris region, alongside police forces, to increase security following the attacks, the Defense Ministry said. An additional 250 soldiers will be on duty Sunday for the march, the ministry said.

Altogether, nearly 1,900 French troops will take part in providing additional security across the country as part of the France’s security alert system, known as Vigipirate.

The precautions may help to ease the nerves of a country left on edge by the wave of violence.

The targeting of the kosher grocery store has shaken Jewish communities in particular. And amid the heightened security concerns, the Grande Synagogue of Paris was closed Saturday for the first time since World War II.

Rabbi Jonas Jacquelin, who serves in a different synagogue, told CNN that an attack on one member of the Jewish community was felt by everyone else.

But, he said, it was important for his synagogue to stay open to demonstrate that the community is not afraid. “We have to show to the world, we have to show to our enemies that all of us are continuing to pray today as we are doing every week and every Shabbat — nothing can disturb us,” he said.


Two sieges


Friday’s deadly events started in Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris, where the Kouachi brothers took refuge in a print shop in an industrial area after two days on the run.

Hours later, after a major police operation locked down the town, the brothers were dead and a man who’d been hiding out in the building was freed unharmed.

At the scene of the other violent siege that capped an uneasy week in Paris, Jewish and Muslim leaders gathered to pay their respects to the four people who died there. They held hands and left flowers and spoke of unity amid tragedy.

The deadly kosher grocery store standoff unfolded in Porte de Vincennes, eastern Paris.

Four hostages were killed, officials said. Coulibaly was killed after police moved in to end the siege.

The four victims were identified by the French Jewish publication JSSNEWS as Yohan Cohen, 22, Yoav Hattab, 21, Philippe Braham and Francois Michel Saada.

Israeli government sources told CNN that Hollande told Netanyahu that 15 were rescued. The four hostages were killed by the gunman before police stormed the market, sources said.

One of the hostages, identified only as Marie, told CNN affiliate BFMTV that the gunman was heavily armed — and that she was very happy to be alive.

“As soon as he got inside, he started shooting. He scared us because he told us: I am not afraid to die and he said either I die or I go to jail for 40 years. He knew this was his last day,” she said.

Hollande called the Porte de Vincennes deaths an “anti-Semitic” act and urged citizens not to lash out against Muslims.

“Those who committed these acts have nothing to do with the Muslim religion,” he said. “Unity is our best weapon.”

On Saturday, Hollande and Cazeneuve met with several police officers injured in the raid on the Kosher market.


Ties to Islamist extremists?


While Said Kouachi is suspected of links to al Qaeda in Yemen, Cherif Kouachi has a long history of jihad and anti-Semitism, according to documents obtained by CNN. In a 400-page court record, he is described as wanting to go to Iraq through Syria “to go and combat the Americans.”

Cherif Kouachi was a close associate of Coulibaly, a Western intelligence source told CNN.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for orchestrating the Charlie Hebdo attack, the founder of the magazine The Intercept, Jeremy Scahill, told CNN. CNN has not independently confirmed this claim.

A man claiming to be Amedy Coulibaly, the hostage-taker at the Paris grocery store, told CNN affiliate BFMTV that he belonged to the Islamist militant group ISIS.

The Western intelligence source said Coulibaly lived with Boumeddiene, his alleged accomplice in the police shooting.

Boumeddiene exchanged 500 phone calls with the wife of Cherif Kouachi in 2014, according to Paris prosecutor Francois Molins. The wife told investigators that her husband and Coulibaly knew each other well.

French media outlets AFP, iTele and Le Point reported that police released Hamyd Mourad, 18, who turned himself in Wednesday after seeing his name on social media in connection with the Charlie Hebdo attack.


What’s next for the magazine?


Charlie Hebdo plans to go on even without its leader and cherished staffers. It’s set to publish many extra copies of its latest edition next Wednesday.

On Friday, Charlie Hebdo staff held their editorial meeting at the Libération newspaper offices.

“I don’t know if I’m afraid anymore, because I’ve seen fear. I was scared for my friends, and they are dead,” said Patrick Pelloux, a columnist for the magazine.

He and many others are defiant.

“I know that they didn’t want us to be quiet,” Pelloux said of the slain colleagues. “They would be assassinated twice, if we remained silent.”


CNN’s Laura Smith-Spark wrote and reported from London, Ray Sanchez from New York and Faith Karimi from Atlanta, while journalist Hakim Almasmari reported from Sanaa. CNN’s Paul Cruickshank, Barbara Starr, Nic Robertson, Nick Paton Walsh, Jim Sciutto, Atika Shubert, Sandrine Amiel, Fred Pleitgen, Christiane Amanpour, Jim Bittermann, Al Goodman, Saskya Vandoorne, Margot Haddad, Radina Gigova, Hande Atay and Tim Lister contributed to this report.


Al Qaeda Source: AQAP Directed Paris Attack

January 8, 2015

by Jeremy Scahill

The Intercept


UPDATED — A source within al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has provided The Intercept with a full statement claiming responsibility for the attack against the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris:

Some ask the relationship between Al-Qaeda Organization and the (brothers) who carried out the #CharlieHebdo operation. Was it direct? Was the operation supervised by the Al-Qaeda wing in the Arabian Peninsula?

The leadership of #AQAP directed the operation, and they have chosen their target carefully as a revenge for the honor of Prophet (pbuh)

The target was in France in particular because of its obvious role in the war on Islam and oppressed nations.

The operation was the result of the threat of Sheikh Usama (RA). He warned the West about the consequences of the persistence in the blasphemy against Muslims’ sanctities.

Sheikh Usama (RA) said in his message to the West: If there is no check on the freedom of your words, then let your hearts be open to the freedom of our actions.

The Organization delayed to claim responsibility due to the executors’ security reasons. Nevertheless, the operation carries a number of important messages to all the Western countries.

One: Touching Muslims’ sanctity and protecting those who make blasphemy have dear price and the punishment will be severe.

Two: The crimes of the Western countries, above them America, Britain and France will backfire deep in their home.

Three: The policy of hitting the snake’s head followed by the Al-Qaeda organization under the leadership of Adhawahiri is still achieving its goals; until the West retreats.

Four: The inspiring media policies of the Mujahideen of Al-Qaeda especially of Inspire Magazine has greatly succeeded in identifying its targets and collecting powers.

One of the cartoonists’ name and photo were put down in Inspire’s wanted poster, dead or alive. The Western regimes should wait for harm and destruction by the Might of Allah.

I hope the brothers will distribute these tweets and translate them so that they reach the greatest audience. {And Allah has full power and control over His Affairs, but most of men know not.}

Arabic-language excerpts from the statement are being circulated widely on Twitter. AQAP has not made any claims of responsibility through its official communication channels. A prominent AQAP cleric released an audio recording today praising the attack, but made no reference to AQAP playing an operational role. [Update: Shortly after The Intercept published this statement, an AQAP official, Bakhsaruf al-Danqaluh, tweeted, in Arabic, the exact paragraphs the AQAP source provided us. This is still not an official AQAP claim of responsibility, but it suggests such a statement may be forthcoming or is being internally debated within the group.]

Earlier in the afternoon, a source within al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula gave The Intercept a separate message praising the attack on Charlie Hebdo. “The lions of Jihad have stood. The followers of Muhammad – peace be upon him – have never forgotten,” the message declared. “Do not look for links or affiliation with Jihadi fronts. It is enough they are Muslims. They are Mujahideen. This is the Jihad of the Ummah. So France, are you ready for more attacks?”

The source, who demanded anonymity because the group had not yet released an official statement, also told The Intercept that two images in the latest issue of its publication, Inspire, published in December, contained a clue foreshadowing the attack on Charlie Hebdo. One image (at right, click to enlarge) shows a Muslim kneeling in prayer with a cooking pot similar to the one used by the Boston marathon bombers. “If you have the knowledge and inspiration all that’s left is to take action.” On the page immediately below it is a picture of a French passport. Throughout the day, several AQAP members have been praising the attack on social media and discussion sites. An AQAP source pointed The Intercept to a recording they claim is Cherif Kouachi, one of the suspects, acknowledging that his trips to Yemen in 2011 were “financed” by U.S.-born radical imam Anwar al Awlaki and that he was sent to Yemen by AQAP.

The full message provided by the AQAP source, which references Inspire‘s previous threats to attack media outlets that publish demeaning pictures of the Prophet Muhammad, is here:


Freedom of Speech


Freedom of speech! Journalist! Newspaper! It is a war on freedom of speech. It is a war on journalism. These words kept belching out of many mouths. All are well aware of what this magazine published. “It was just satirical,” some argued. I find it funny how this type of people think. “It is a crime for a journalist to be killed,” they claim … I would like to pose some questions to them:

Was it a crime to kill Sheikh Anwar Al-’Awlaki for his da’wah?

Was it a crime to kill Samir Khan for being a member of Inspire Team?

Was it a crime to kill Fuad Al-Hadhrami, the brother who accompanied journalists in S.Yemen?

Charlie Hebdo’s editor-in-chief Gerard Biard remarked he didn’t “understand how people can attack a newspaper with heavy weapons. A newspaper is not a weapon of war.” Isn’t Inspire a magazine? Are we to conclude that drones and missiles aren’t heavy weapons?

Where are your values in that regard?

The Charlie magazine team deserved what they got. Many warnings have been given before, but they were persistent. They had the freedom to use cartoons in their magazine, and we have the freedom to use bullets from our magazines. As the ‘Wanted List’ stated: A bullet a day, keeps the kaffir away. Yes, Charb is no more. The lions of Jihad have stood. The followers of Muhammad – peace be upon him – have never forgotten. As Sheikh Anwar Rahimahullah put it: The Dust Will Never Settle Down.

Do not look for links or affiliation with Jihadi fronts. It is enough they are Muslims. They are Mujahideen. This is the Jihad of the Ummah. So France, are you ready for more attacks; Weren’t you asked by Inspire Magazine immediately after the Wanted List:

So, why is France so thick in learning from its past mistakes? Is it leaving Paris undefended once again? Woe upon you from tens of Muhammad Merah!

You come third in the target list, after US and Britain. If I were the latter, I would rather pull my sleeves up.

Earlier in the day, the French government announced that the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo massacre have been killed following a stand-off at a printing plant outside of Paris. U.S. and French intelligence agencies are aggressively investigating the travel history and associations of the two brothers, Said and Cherif Kouachi. The brothers both claim to have spent time in Yemen. Agence France Press reports that Said traveled multiple times to Yemen from 2009-2013 and studied at Sana’a’s Iman University, founded by radical preacher Abdel Majid al-Zindani.

A senior Yemeni intelligence official told Reuters that Said traveled to Yemen in 2011 and met with Awlaki, who was infamous for his sermons and writings calling for Muslims in Western countries to conduct terrorist attacks. Anonymous U.S. officials have alleged in various news reports that Said received training from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and a witness to the shooting told French media that one of the shooters claimed that they were from AQAP. “We do not have confirmed information that he was trained by al Qaeda but what was confirmed was that he has met with Awlaki in Shabwah,” the Yemeni official told Reuters. Awlaki, along with another U.S. citizen, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in northern Yemen ordered by President Obama in September 2011.

A senior Yemeni official told The Intercept that the French government has not yet formally requested the Yemeni government’s assistance or cooperation in their investigation. “France has not approached us in any official way yet,” the official said. “The [Yemeni] government is waiting for a French inquiry.”

The Intercept granted the Yemeni official anonymity because he is not authorized to speak about the matter absent an official French inquiry and because anonymous U.S. and Yemeni officials are making contradictory claims. The official said that many French nationals have traveled to Yemen, sometimes on passports from other nations.

Awlaki was very public in his calls for assassinating cartoonists and attacking media outlets that published demeaning images of Prophet Mohammed.




In June 2010, AQAP published its first issue of an English language publication, Inspire. “Allah says: ‘And inspire the believers to fight,’” read the opening line of the letter from Inspire’s unnamed editor. “It is from this verse that we derive the name of our new magazine.” Inspire, the editor wrote, was “the first magazine to be issued by the al-Qaeda Organization in the English language. In the West; in East, West and South Africa; in South and Southeast Asia and elsewhere are millions of Muslims whose first or second language is English. It is our intent for this magazine to be a platform to present the important issues facing the ummah [community] today to the wide and dispersed English speaking Muslim readership.”

The issue of Inspire featured an “exclusive” interview with the head of AQAP, Nasir al Wuhayshi, also known as Abu Basir, as well as translated works from bin Laden and Zawahiri. It also included an essay praising Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the failed underwear bomber. The magazine was well produced, with a layout that resembled a typical U.S. teen magazine, though without fashionably dressed women and celebrities. Instead, it featured photos of children alleged to have been killed in U.S. missile strikes and pictures of armed, masked jihadis. An article written under the byline “AQ Chef” and titled “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom” provided instructions on how to manufacture explosive devices from basic household goods. Another article gave detailed directions on how to download military-grade encryption software for sending e-mails and text messages.

Perhaps most disturbing, the magazine contained a “Hit List” of people who it alleged had created “blasphemous caricatures” of the Prophet Muhammad. In late 2005, the Danish publication Jyllands-Posten commissioned a dozen cartoons of the Prophet, ostensibly to contribute to a debate about self-censorship within Islam. It had enraged Muslims across the world at the time, sparked massive protests and resulted in death threats and bomb threats against the newspaper. The hit list published by Inspire included magazine editors, anti-Muslim pundits who had defended the cartoons, as well as the novelist Salman Rushdie. But it also included Molly Norris, a Seattle-based cartoonist who initiated “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” Norris said she did it in response to the U.S. Comedy Central network’s decision to edit out a scene in its popular animated program South Park that addressed the controversy, after receiving a threat.

Inspire’s hit list was accompanied by an essay penned by Awlaki encouraging Muslims to attack those who defame the image of Mohammed. “I would like to express my thanks to my brothers at Inspire for inviting me to write the main article for the first issue of their new magazine. I would also like to commend them for having this subject, the defense of the Messenger of Allah, as the main focus of this issue,” Awlaki wrote. He then laid out a defense for assassinating those who engaged in blasphemy of Mohammed. “The large number of participants makes it easier for us because there are more targets to choose from in addition to the difficulty of the government offering all of them special protection.” He continued:

“But even then our campaign should not be limited to only those who are active participants. These perpetrators are not operating in a vacuum. Instead they are operating within a system that is offering them support and protection. The government, political parties, the police, the intelligence services, blogs, social networks, the media, and the list goes on, are part of a system within which the defamation of Islam is not only protected but promoted. The main elements in this system are the laws that make this blasphemy legal. Because they are practicing a “right” that is defended by the law, they have the backing of the entire Western political system. This would make the attacking of any Western target legal from an Islamic viewpoint….Assassinations, bombings, and acts of arson are all legitimate forms of revenge against a system that relishes the sacrilege of Islam in the name of freedom.”

When Inspire was published, some within the U.S. intelligence community panicked. The first concern was protecting the people who had been identified as targets for assassination. The FBI took immediate precautions to guard the Seattle cartoonist, whom they feared could be murdered. She eventually changed her name and moved. Law enforcement agencies in other countries took similar measures.




If Awlaki met with Said Kouachi in Yemen, it would not be the first time he met with young Muslims who went on to attempt or conduct terrorist attacks. In the aftermath of the failed Christmas day attack on an airplane over Detroit, the young Nigerian man who attempted to detonate an explosive device sewn into his underwear was presented as an AQAP operative who had been sent on a suicide mission by Anwar Awlaki. Yemeni intelligence officials told the United States that Abdulmutallab had traveled to Awlaki’s tribal area of Shabwah in October 2009. There, they say, he hooked up with members of AQAP. A U.S. government source said that the National Security Agency had intercepted “voice-to-voice communication” between Abdulmutallab and Awlaki in the fall of 2009 and had determined that Awlaki “was in some way involved in facilitating this guy’s transportation or trip through Yemen. It could be training, a host of things. I don’t think we know for sure,” the anonymous source told the Washington Post.

A local tribal leader from Shabwah, Mullah Zabara, later told me he had seen the young Nigerian at the farm of Fahd al Quso, the alleged USS Cole bombing conspirator. “He was watering trees,” Zabara told me. “When I saw [Abdulmutallab], I asked Fahd, ‘Who is he?’” Quso told Zabara the young man was from a different part of Yemen, which Zabara knew was a lie. “When I saw him on TV, then Fahd told me the truth.”

Awlaki’s role in the “underwear plot” was unclear. Awlaki later claimed that Abdulmutallab was one of his “students.” U.S. officials insist Awlaki played an operational role in the plot. Tribal sources in Shabwah told me that al Qaeda operatives reached out to Awlaki to give religious counseling to Abdulmutallab, but that Awlaki was not involved in the plot. While praising the attack, Awlaki said he had not been involved with its conception or planning. “Yes, there was some contact between me and him, but I did not issue a fatwa allowing him to carry out this operation,” Awlaki told journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye in an interview for Al Jazeera a few weeks after the attempted attack: “I support what Umar Farouk has done after I have been seeing my brothers being killed in Palestine for more than sixty years, and others being killed in Iraq and in Afghanistan. And in my tribe too, U.S. missiles have killed” women and “children, so do not ask me if al-Qaeda has killed or blown up a US civil[ian] jet after all this. The 300 Americans are nothing comparing to the thousands of Muslims who have been killed.”


Part of this article was adapted from Jeremy Scahill’s book, Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield.


Assaulting Democracy: The Deep Repercussions of the Charlie Hebdo Attack

by SPIEGEL Staff

January 9, 2015


“Can we laugh about anything? Will we be able to laugh about anything tomorrow? These questions are worth asking. No limits to humor that is in the service of freedom of speech, because when humor stops, it is very often to make place for censorship or self censorship.”


Cabu (Jan. 13, 1938 to Jan. 7, 2015), — cartoonist at Charlie Hebdo



They knew what they were doing. The two masked men armed with Kalashnikovs ordered cartoonist Corinne Rey, who had just picked up her daughter from day care, to enter the door code. They then made their way to the second floor where, every Wednesday, the day of publication, the editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo gathered at noon to commence their weekly editorial meeting and discuss what they would put in the next issue.

It was a lively session, with around 15 people, including a police officer assigned to provide protection to Stéphane Charbonnier, the satirical magazine’s 47-year-old editor in chief. In the end, neither stood a chance.

Where is Charb?” the killers called out. “Where is Charb?” They shot him as soon as they found him. “I would rather die standing than live on my knees,” Charb had once been quoted as saying. At the time, al-Qaida had just placed him on its death list in its online magazine Inspire. “Charb Doesn’t Like People” was the name of a regular column he wrote for Charlie Hebdo, but he was in fact a quiet, reserved man who, like everyone here, stood for humanity as he saw it. They were people who fought for the freedom of the press, freedom of expression and, yes, for the right to occasionally trangress taste or to insult. In the end, they paid for it with their lives.

They were people like Cabu, whose real name was Jean Cabut. The 76-year-old with shaggy hair and a rough drawing style had a laugh so hearty it could literally lift him out of his chair. His most famous character was “Grande Duduche,” a perpetual college student hopelessly in love with the daughter of a university dean.

Or Georges Wolinski, 80, who, like Cabu and the entire first generation at Charlie Hebdo, was a figure cast in the spiritual mold of the 1960s — hedonistic, libertarian, anarchic and cheerful — a man who opposed censorship, racism, the war in Algeria, de Gaulle and narrow-minded and dull Catholic France.

Or Bernard Verlhac, 57, who called himself Tignous and once caricatured Front National leader Marine Le Pen featuring a clown nose with a swastika branded on it. He once went out of his way to mock Nicolas Sarkozy as a war president and a man who is positively spastic when it came to power and hyperactive to the point of hysteria.

Or illustrator Philippe Honoré, 73, whose last cartoon was a New Year’s card to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (wishing him “especially good health”) that had been tweeted by the staff just minutes before the attack.

The hail of deadly bullets also struck left-wing economist Bernard Maris, 68, who wrote a regular column for the magazine, psychoanalyst and columnist Elsa Cayat, copy editor Mustapha Ourrad, police officers Franck Brinsolaro and Ahmed Merabet, a building maintenance man as well as local politician Michel Renaud, who had been paying a visit to the magazine.


A Rich Tradition under Fire


Few other countries in the world have a cartoon culture as rich as France, with its insatiable appetite for comics, or Bandes dessinées, as they are called. It’s a culture that expresses an incredible understanding of humor — be its aim contemptuous or educational, exclusionary or inclusive. It was a constant process, one called the freedom of opinion.

The cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo relished in jabbing at their targets and even reaching beyond them. That was all part of the bigger scheme of things. Reacting to the scandal over the Danish Muhammad caricatures in 2005, the editors of Charlie Hebdo initially wanted to run the headline, “Laughter kills,” but they ultimately backed away from it, feeling it was too radical. Instead, in 2012, they ran a caricature of a naked Mohammed, showing his derriere, with his rear parts covered with a star and the caption, “A Star Is Born.”

Was it funny? And who decides what’s funny? They were determined to show that, when it comes to satire, there are no limits. At the time, US President Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney said that the White House didn’t question the magazine’s right to publish the cartoons, only the “judgment behind the decision to publish it.”

The final cartoon Charb published on the day of his death showed a mockingly caricatured jihadist, heavily armed, with the caption: “There still hasn’t been an attack in France. Just wait, we still have until the end of January to send New Year’s greetings.” It was an eerie coincidence. But it also evoked the kind of stubborn spirit readers had come to expect from Charlie Hebdo over the years. It was what they wanted it to be.


Global Shock


The shock over the killings spread quickly across France as people registered that the attacks had in fact been also been aimed at France and democracy as a whole and not just some satirical magazine.

Judging from the outpouring of grief seen in France on Wednesday night, even an attack on the Louvre wouldn’t have struck a deeper nerve. Jan. 7, 2015 has become for the French what 9/11 was to the United States. It was an attack on the country’s proud history of Enlightenment and the French Revolution, but also one against Europe. It goes far beyond the publication itself — at issue are fundamental questions of freedom and humanity. Accordingly, politicians, journalists and everyday people around the world sought to express their solidarity. It happened en masse on social networks, but also in public spaces. Hundreds of thousands of people attended vigils in cities spanning the globe from New York to Sydney on Wednesday, with further demonstrations planned for this weekend. Newspapers dedicated their front pages to the tragedy, although not all dared to publish the cartoons featured in Charlie Hebdo. A number of cartoonists also drew images illustrating the inequality of weapons and pens. The pope prayed for the dead.

From Pakistan to Turkey, Muslim dignitaries took pains to distance themselves, using tough words to condemn the attacks. Tunisia’s Islamist al-Nahda party issued a statement condemning the “cowardly and criminal act.” Egypt’s spiritual leader also sent his condolences, as did Russia and China.


A Turning Point


France is no stranger to terrorism, but Wednesday’s attack marked the worst it had seen since 1961. The country survived the Organization of the Secret Army (OAS), a French dissident paramilitary group that fought against Algeria’s independence during the 1960s. Later, during the 1990s, Algerian Islamists planted bombs in commuter trains. But the attack that took place on Wednesday against Charlie Hebdo was a siege against the very values that France embodies.

“This is a turning point — quantitatively but for that reason also qualitatively,” says Olivier Roy, a respected scholar of Islam at the European University Institute in Florence. “It was an attack designed for the maximum effect,” he says. “They did it to shock the public and, in that sense, they were also successful.”

At the same time, at least for a short period, the attackers united a country that in recent years had appeared to be frightened, beat down and hopeless in a way rarely seen before in its history. The day after the attacks, President Hollande even met with his political nemesis, Nicolas Sarkozy, in Elysée Palace. “This isn’t just about democracy,” the former president said. “It’s about civilization.”

Hollande also invited right-wing populist Marine Le Pen, a woman considered to be an outsider in the French political system who normally wouldn’t get invited to the presidential palace. Meanwhile, leftist Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve visited the editorial staff of the conservative daily Le Figaro on the day of the attacks. It may not sound like much, but these are meaningful gestures in today’s politically polarized France.


Anxiety about Islam


This week’s events in France could ultimately pour fuel on the flames of widespread French anxiety about an Islam that many believe is threatening the fabric of the country’s very identity along with fears that other radical Islamists might conduct similar attacks.

Of course, that applies not only to France, but to the entire Western World, including Germany, which has so far been spared attacks comparable in scale. Nevertheless, Germans too harbor a diffuse fear of Islam, which has been manifesting itself of late on the streets of Dresden in the form of protests held by the loose-knit group calling itself Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (Pegida). All over the place, it seems, people incapable of differentiating between Muslims and murderous assassins feel affirmed in their views.

The debate is raging particularly intensely in France, where Marine Le Pen’s Front National has been winning big with voters for years with its Islamophobic messages. Still fresh on the minds of the French is the March 2012 killing spree waged by 23-year-old Mohamed Merah, who hunted down soldiers, Jewish children and their teacher in Toulouse with a handgun and a scooter, killing seven.

Merah sowed the seeds of fear in the hearts of the French, raising concerns that the country could become the focus of a bloody jihad — one led not by foreign perpetrators but by French citizens who have gone astray. Merah was French, just like the two suspects in the Charlie Hebdo terror attack, the brothers Saïd und Chérif Kouachi, aged 34 and 32.

The attack in Paris was one targeted at the entire world, but it’s also one that hit, with great precision, a country that is experiencing significant uncertainty. There have been few times in postwar French history when public sentiment has been as downtrodden as it is now. After two and a half years of Hollande’s Socialist government, there are no signs that France’s decline is reversing.

The country’s key indicators are a disaster. During the first half of Hollande’s term, the number of unemployed has risen to 3.5 million, with particularly high youth unemployment. Hollande’s government has to answer to accelerated deindustrialization and an economy that is ailing with zero growth.

If you add to that the president’s historically low popularity ratings, the picture is a profoundly negative one. The days following this week’s attacks actually provide a moment of opportunity in which the French president could seek out words to ease the pain his compatriots are feeling. It also presents an opportunity for Hollande to stand up for France after the weak performance he has shown so far as president.

Indeed, it may be possible to transform shock over the attacks in rue Nicolas Appert into strength. One of Queen Elizabeth II’s crowning moments came after the London bombings in 2005. In a remarkable speech, the Queen directed some of her remarks right at terrorists: “Those who perpetrate these brutal acts against innocent people should know that they will not change our way of life.”

There’s also a chance France could fall prey to right-wing populists. In a tweet on Thursday, Le Pen reiterated her demand that the country hold a referendum on the death penalty, which is banned in France, a prohibition enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Le Pen’s standing was soaring in public opinion polls even prior to Wednesday’s attack. Whether support for her will now rise or fall hinges on how the French public ultimately reacts to the murders.


Shows of Solidarity


The street was always the place where France sought to reassure itself and where its citizens engaged in politics. This fateful Wednesday, thousands took to the streets to defend French values. A mass demonstration was held in Paris, but numerous others were also staged in other major cities, in villages and in small towns. Organizers mobilized people using SMS text messages and social networks. In France and across Europe, people gathered under the, “Je suis Charlie” slogan. I am Charlie. The slogan could be seen on digital display boards on highways, someone tweeted a picture of a newborn baby wearing a “Charlie” arm band, others wore buttons bearing the slogan and editorial staffs of entire media organizations, including SPIEGEL, were photographed holding up “Je suis Charlie” signs in solidarity.

It has become the emblem of a country and a Continent that has no intention of allowing itself to cower in the face of terrorism. France is a proud nation that can be defiant and rebellious. And Europe, as the French would say, has character.

On Wednesday, an icy gray day, Paris was in a feverish state. It was the first day of annual winter sales, but the stores were emptier than usual in the afternoon. Special forces patrolled the department stores to protect against the threat of terror. At the bakeries, people exchanged encouraging words, wishing each other “a nice day, despite everything.” Of course, they said, they would be joining the masses later at Place de la République, one of Paris’ most famous squares.

In the center of the large square, a statue of Marianne, a depiction of the Goddess of Liberty, stands guard over a relief featuring the three founding principles of the French Republic — Liberté, Égalité, Fratenité. Someone had slipped a black ribbon of mourning over Fraternité

Soldiers patrolled the capital city together with police and security checks were established at schools and at all major shopping centers and cinemas. “The daily life of the French is going to change dramatically,” said one host of French news channel BFM TV.

The French are outraged by Wednesday’s events, but they have remained calm. The prevailing sentiment is one of mourning and not thirst for revenge. It’s almost as if the French had sensed something like this might happen one day. Now that it has, they want to maintain their composure, without showing any signs of backing down.


A New Dimension


This is, after all, an old battle that has been waged for years now between the friends and foes of freedom. In 2004, Theo van Gogh was stabbed to death by Mohammed Bouyeri, a Dutch-Moroccan Islamist, on an open street in Amsterdam. The Dutch filmmaker had repeatedly attacked Islam, at times in tasteless ways, prior to his slaying. Ten years later, the attackers, dressed in black, wore bulletproof vests and carried Kalashnikovs. Although they’ve become more professional, the intention remains the same. France has chalked up many successes in the battle against terror, even preventing attacks on its soil. The French police and secret services have been repeatedly criticized for their at times brutal approach, but they have also been relatively effective.

But there’s an altogether new dimension now, with more French youth answering the call to jihad in Syria and Iraq than in any other Western country. The authorities have been pushed to their limits. On Thursday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said, “Our services have dismantled many groups and foiled plans for attacks. That is proof that we are acting. Hundreds of people are followed, dozens have been questioned, dozens have been jailed. That shows the difficulties facing our services: the number of individuals who pose a threat.”


The Suspects


On Wednesday night, just eight kilometers north of the Place de la République, where the mourners had converged, few lights were on and only silhouettes could be seen behind the curtains in the darkness of rue Basly, the street where suspected killer Chérif Kouachi resided in the suburb of Gennevilliers. Until last Wednesday, Kouachi had resided on the fourth floor of this brick building with cacti in the windows behind a violet-colored door in Apartment 143.

As a youth, Kouachi smoked pot and drank alcohol. In 2005, he tried to go to Iraq because he wanted to join up with al-Qaida. He and his brother Saïd were born in Paris and grew up in a children’s home in Rennes. Their parents, who were of Algerian origin, died when they were young. Chérif trained to be a fitness instructor and moved to Paris, where he made a living delivering pizzas. At the time, he described himself as an “occasional Muslim.” Then he became acquainted with the Farid Beyettou a janitor and fanatic self-styled preacher, who recruited Chérif for the jihad.

A video filmed in the summer of 2004 by a neighborhood group shows Chérif as a young man wearing tennis shoes, light blue jeans and closely shorn hair, with a clean-shaven face. He can be seen rapping, doing his best to act cool like kids of that age do, and greeting his friend with a high-five.


‘It’s Good to Die a Martyr’


Police arrested Chérif in 2005 as he prepared to travel to Damascus on his way to Iraq, where he wanted to kill Americans. During his trial in 2008, he said he had been radicalized by the images of Abu Ghraib. His lawyer described him as a “loser” who had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. The judge sentenced Chérif Kouachi to three years in prison, with half of the time to be served on probation. At the time, French TV station FR 3 interviewed Chérif as part of a documentary film. In it, he said, “Farid (Benyettou) told me that the scriptures offered proof of the goodness of suicide attacks. It is written in the scriptures that it’s good to die a martyr.”

After his release, he worked as a fish vendor at a branch of the Leclerc supermarket chain. Anti-terror authorities found themselves back on Cheríf’s trail again in 2010. They arrested him because they believed he was planning to help a convicted terrorist escape from prison. Police also took notice of his brother Saïd at the time. French authorities registered the two for monitoring by intelligence agencies across Europe. Cheríf starting in 2010 and Saïd since 2011. Sources in German security circles told SPIEGEL that one of the two spent time in 2011 in Oman and has ties to al-Qaida on the Arab Peninsula.

The New York Times also reported that Saïd spent several months in 2011 at an al-Qaida training camp in Yemen. At the time, US-born hate preacher Anwar al-Awlaki had been successfully recruiting fighters from the West. Both Saïd and Cheríf had reportedly been placed on the US government’s no-fly list.

Police found Saïd’s ID card in the car used to flee the crime scene on Wednesday.

People on the street in Gennevilliers, including many youth, said they couldn’t fathom that Chérif, a friendly young man they described as “harmless” and “normal,” could have been involved in the murder of 12 people.

At midday on Thursday, Chérif’s neighbor was standing in front of the suspect’s violet-colored door — Eric Badday, an older man with horn-rimmed glasses who was born in Tunisia but has lived for more than 40 years in France. As he tried to proceed, he got bombarded with questions by TV crews that had crowded in to the building. All he wanted to do was take out his trash.

Kouachi was the perfect neighbor, says Eric Badday, shaking his head and still clutching his bag of garbage. “He was honest and decent and was never loud or aggressive.” In contrast to himself, Badday said, the young man frequented the mosque, but he neither wore a beard nor dressed conspicuously. “Jeans and a T-shirt, just like me,” Badday says. When you think about it, Badday continues, Kouachi was almost conspicuously inconspicuous. In hindsight.

Kouachi’s wife, on the other hand, was an anomaly, even in a building where many Arabs live, Badday says. She was little more than a black shadow in a hooded abaya cloak and never showed her face. “When I got on the elevator, she would step out.” He says he never saw Kouachi’s brother Saïd, the second suspect, here in the building. He only learned of his existence from the television.


‘No Murderers Lived Here’


The sandwich seller down the street says that Chérif “was a good customer. I never noticed anything strange about him.” He has a hard time believing that Kouachi once wanted to fight in Iraq and that he may have been in Syria. He demands to see the police photo once again and shakes his head. “This has always been a quiet street,” he says. “No murderers lived here.” Then he adds: “Until now.”

In the best known video of the attack, one sees shabby, 1970s-era office buildings lining a narrow street with sidewalks on both sides, separated from the road by metal posts. At the corner of one building stands a black car, a small Citroën 3, its doors open.

The image wobbles, you can hear shots being fired, salvos. They come loud and fast, one after the other. “An automatic weapon,” says a man’s gasping, emotionless voice. “Pssst. Be quiet,” another whispers. The image rotates and becomes unfocused. “Don’t move, just don’t move.” The film continues as people hunch down behind chimneys. Occasionally, the camera pans across faces, pale and with wide, fearful eyes.

They are journalists from the news agency Premières Lignes, whose offices are in the same building as those of Charlie Hebdo. They fled to the roof to escape the shooting. One of them, who had been smoking a cigarette on the street in front of the door, saw two men in black with heavy, automatic weapons as they called out: “Where are the offices of Charlie Hebdo?” The assailants had trouble finding their way inside the building at first.

At 11:30 a.m., Laurent Richard, an editor at Premières Lignes, parks his scooter around the corner in the Rue Saint-Sabin. He tries to head through a small street to the big white building at Rue Nicolas Appert 6-10.

The agitated waiter of a small restaurant tells him of two heavily armed men who disappeared into number 10. He hears his colleagues who, from the roof, indicate to him that he shouldn’t go inside. He turns around and waits a couple of minutes. And then he goes in.

“It was unimaginable. A slaughter,” Richard says. In the foyer, two firemen are trying to resuscitate a receptionist. In the editorial offices on the second floor, he sees dead bodies and wounded people. He tries to help first responders find those who had survived and to help the wounded. The terrorists, he is told, called out the journalists by name before they opened fire.

He can’t say anymore exactly how long the shooting lasted and those who fled to the roof have a hard time remembering for sure as well. But they were watching as the men left the building with their weapons.

A nearby resident films from his balcony as the assailants execute a policeman with a close-range gunshot. The car in the video is now parked in the middle of the street. The men yell in French: “We have avenged the Prophet” and “We have killed Charlie Hebdo!” They jump into their car and drive away. Witnesses say that the attackers never seemed particularly agitated. Rather, they seemed to know exactly what they were doing.


Haunting Scenes


The perpetrators flee toward Porte de Pantin across the Place de la République to the north of Paris. They change cars in the Rue de Meaux in the 19th Arrondissement, threaten a driver and run into a pedestrian. In the car left behind, investigators find 10 Molotov cocktails and jihad flags. Had the pair planned additional acts of violence?

That night, haunting scenes are visited upon Reims, a city 90 minutes by car northeast of Paris. Anti-terror police units comb through the suburb of Croix-Rouge — heavily armed and trailed by a horde of improvident journalists who broadcast the apparently aimless search live. The next day, it is announced that several people have been arrested, including Chérif’s wife and brother-in-law.

At midday on Thursday, the suspects are spotted again in northern France, this time in Villers-Cotterêts, a town halfway between Paris and Reims, where they hold up a gas station, stealing fuel and food. They are said to be traveling in a gray compact on their odyssey through France, together with Kalashnikovs and a rocket launcher.

On Friday morning, the two brothers take cover in a factory building in Dammartin-en-Goële near Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport after a wild, high-speed chase. They have taken a hostage.

Midday on Friday, a second hostage situation takes shape at Porte de Vincennes in Paris, where a heavily armed man storms a Jewish supermarket and kills at least two people. The man is reported to have connections to the Kouachi brothers and shot a policewoman in the suburb of Montrouge on Thursday.

Thousands of soldiers and police in battlegear take to the streets and the Paris ring road is closed to traffic. Service is suspended on Metro lines and schools are evacuated. Paris is a city in a state of emergency. On Friday afternoon at 5:20 p.m., special forces storm the factory building near Charles de Gaulle and the supermarket at Pote de Vincennes. The two brothers and their accomplice, Amedy Colibaly, as well as another hostage-taker are killed during the deployment. The country is shaken and fears of further attacks are unabated.




France has long been plagued by a growing fear of Islam, a worry which has spread through both society and the political classes like a poison. Today, there is an entire class of young Muslims who were born as French citizens but who never found their way into the labor market due to the country’s chronic economic troubles. With limited educations and nothing to do, the ghetto-like feel of the banlieues, or suburbs, surrounding Paris and other large French cities led many of them to a feeling of alienation from, or even hostility to, the Repubic.

The radicalization of French youth is hardly a recent phenomenon. For 15 years, the anthropologist Dounia Bouzar has been studying the issue. She has observed that a growing number of young French have found refuge in religion because, as Bouzar says, “reality no longer offers them a future.”

They used to be primarily young men and women from the suburbs who grow up in broken families or orphanages, like the gunman Merah, for example. But the profile has changed. Now, even children from the middle classes are attracted to an absurdly radical form of Islam.

Those who are now doing the killing, Bouzar is convinced, are the little brothers of those who tried hard to succeed, but who were unable to. They used to believe in the Republic and its values and thought that, if only they did well enough in school, they would find a job. But unfortunately things didn’t turn out that way: Because they had the wrong names and lived in the wrong part of town. “That engenders hate,” says Bouzar.

In her books, Bouzar has repeatedly addressed the state’s disastrous approach to Muslims and the resulting failure of integration. “Policymakers failed because they were unable to differentiate between a ‘normally religious’ Muslim and a radical,” she says. That made things more difficult for moderate Muslims; they were, she says, excluded, whether they followed the rules laid down by the Republic or not. But the really radical ones, the fundamentalists, Bouzar says, were left alone.

These days, Bouzar is an advisor to the Interior Ministry. With more than 1,000 young men and women, many of them minors, having gone to war in Syria and Iraq, French politicians have finally recognized that they have a problem. Bouzar doesn’t believe it is a problem specific to France. Everywhere in Europe, she says, Muslims are given the impression that they don’t belong. But in France, where the idea of equality is constantly proclaimed, the disappointment is more intense, she believes. “The difference between theory and practice is starker here,” Bouzar says. The French ideal of equality may provide a rationale for the fact that people of different cultures live together and tolerate one another. But it doesn’t create equal treatment, much less equal opportunity.


A Debate over National Identity


Just a few years ago, she says, it was unthinkable on both the left and right side of the political spectrum to openly question the success of integration in France. Since then, though, much has changed. During the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy, for example, statistics on place of origin were gathered for the first time. There was even a ministry for immigration and integration for a short time. It was established by Sarkozy in 2007 following his election victory as a more or less subtle concession to voters he had poached from the Front National. Two years later, in October 2009, he launched a debate over “national identity.” The French, he said, should “as openly as possible” ponder what it means to be French.

The search for a national identity quickly became an open forum for xenophobes of all stripes. What was said in town hall meetings, in the Internet or on talk shows sounded like anything but an internalized catalogue of French values. The consensus seemed more to center on a fear of an inundation of foreigners — or, to be more precise, of Islamization. In one program on the issue, a village mayor complained of immigrants on live Television, saying “France pays them so that they can lie around on their lazy skins.”

On the evening of the attack, four men and two women are sitting on school benches drawn together in the neon-lit room of a youth and cultural center located 17 kilometers north of the Place de la République, in one of the most notorious banlieues surrounding Paris. They are between 28 and 36 years old, three of them are unemployed, four are Muslims and, in contrast to their parents, all of them grew up in France. They have gathered here because they want to talk about the attack — one which shocked and unsettled them just as it did all of their countrymen. But they also want to talk about what it might mean for them as the children of immigrants in the banlieues. Paris is so close, but it is worlds away here in Sarcelles, a collection of identical housing projects that has the dubious honor of being the source of the French term “sarcellite,” a word used to describe a hopeless existence on the fringes of society.

“I am horrified,” says 36-year-old Farouk Zaoui, a member of the Sarcelle municipal council. One of 16 children, his parents emigrated from Algeria. “Freedom of expression is a fundamental right in this country,” he continues, adding that it must remain so. The others nod in agreement. “Charlie Hebdo provokes everybody, not just Muslims but also Christians and Jews,” says Laetitia Ritucci-Gauthier, 34, a French-Italian woman who works at an insurance company. For her tastes, she says, the magazine sometimes goes a bit too far, but that’s just the way it is.

“Whether you like it or not,” Fatima Idhammou, 28, interjects, “caricaturists are people and my religion tells me that I must respect other people.” Idhammou is Muslim; her parents are from Morocco and she grew up in Sarcelle. She is currently looking for a job even as she keeps busy as the vice president of the youth and cultural center. She and her friends meet here to exercise or to attend English courses. Sometimes she takes advantage of services on offer to help with writing application letters. “This attack is difficult to comprehend,” Idhammou says. “I can only describe the societal climate within which it took place.” It is, she says, one that is increasingly hostile, poisoned and Islamophobic.


Justifying Racism?


Zaoui stares down at the table they are seated around. His father, he says, used to work in a factory where all Muslim employees were referred to as Mohammed. His father is named Amar.

What would have to happen for young French citizens like the six gathered here this evening to feel completely at home in France? You would have to completely replace all politicians in the country, they say laughing. Then silence falls. In the final analysis, says Fatima Idhammou, it has to do with work — the chance of finding a good job that makes a good life possible. And respect. “That has become more difficult in recent years if you are Muslim,” says Farouk Zaoui. “But without work, there is no stability.”

In recent years, Muslims in France have been increasingly stigmatized, says Zaoui. “People point their fingers at us, and are now doing so again. We are supposed to apologize for a crime committed by terrorists.” He is a French citizen of the Muslim faith — and faith, he says, is a private matter, particularly in secularist France. “These days, an Islamophobic theory is being developed as a way to justify racism,” another says.

French intellectuals are also taking part in this debate about French identity, and sometimes the tones they strike are shrill indeed. The philosopher Alain Finkielkraut, for example, himself the son of immigrants, has repeatedly warned of the problems associated with immigration, a position he once voiced in an interview with SPIEGEL. He presents his arguments, however, as a concern for France’s cultural heritage.

Another prominent case is that of broadcast journalist Eric Zemmour, who approaches the debate over the role of France’s Muslim population with a crude mixture of clichés and indignation. Zemmour is a best-selling author in France — akin to the populist Islamophobe Thilo Sarrazin in Germany — and an apostle of those who do battle against what they see as the dictatorship of political correctness. In doing so, they transgress all boundaries of decency on the way to reactionary impropriety. Zemmour complains of a “lobby” of gays and other minorities, of Muslims and feminists, of foreigners and other domestic enemies. Their goal, he argues, is to destroy freedom of thought. Just like ancient Rome, the France of today is threatened by “barbarians.” A “cult of intermixing” is dominant, he says, and it is one that is propelling the country toward the abyss.

Such comments provide the ambient noise surrounding the national debates over the burqa and headscarf that have raged in recent years. They have been informed to a significant degree by France’s understanding of itself as a great, indivisible republic — and it has become commonly accepted that the country takes the separation of church and state extremely seriously. Indeed, many have taken to expanding the holy French trinity of freedom, equality and brotherhood with the word laïcité, or secularism. But the degree to which secularism has penetrated the French identity is not entirely clear.


The Birth of Fear Mongering


The law pertaining to the separation of church and state comes from 1905 and has been continually expanded, as in 2004 when the wearing of visible religious symbols in schools was banned. Fully 494 of 577 parliamentarians voted in favor of the law. But the law, which forbids the wearing of headscarves, crosses, turbans and kippas, also triggered the populist exploitation of Islam.

The philosopher Raphaël Liogier says that this law — later expanded to include the wearing of the burqa in public — was a first step in the direction of fear mongering. The parliament’s moves helped create a feeling that the country was being besieged by Islam, he says. Liogier speaks of the “destructive myth of Islamization” — one, he says, which is rooted in France’s narcissistic agony at no longer being the center of the world.

But secularism is also, particularly for the French left, a deeply felt element of the state’s ideology. It is proof of the victory over Catholic conservatism following the French Revolution — a tradition that Charlie Hebdo always stood for.

“It should be as normal to criticize Islam as it is to criticize Jews or Catholics,” Charlie Hebdo publisher Charb told SPIEGEL ONLINE two years ago. When asked if he was afraid of attacks, he said: “I have neither a wife nor children, not even a dog. But I’m not going to hide.”

What united all of the cartoonists was their mockery of religion and the fight against ideology. Charlie Hebdo has never been a political magazine first and foremost. It seeks to make people laugh, and to make them more tolerant by doing so.


‘An Act of War’


Caricatures, as presented in France by Charlie Hebdo and the country’s other satirical weekly, Le Canard Enchainé, are part of the intellectual debate and often go well beyond the op-ed pages. They are often more radical — and often more accessible to readers.

Cabu, Wolinski and all the others were part of their readers’ lives — a fact that has become even more apparent through the moving responses to the attack. They gave voice to both desires and anger and they represented the best side of French culture: argumentative, vivacious, diabolic and warm hearted.

Former Charlie Hebdo Editor-in-Chief Philippe Val spoke on the radio on the afternoon following the attack. How is he doing, the host wanted to know. “I am doing poorly,” he answered with a quiet, puzzled voice. “Very poorly. I have lost all of my friends today.” Then he launched into a tearful speech that didn’t just express his own shock, grief and bewilderment. He spoke as though he was speaking for the entire country. It was the speech that the president couldn’t hold.

“They were such spirited people,” Val said, “who wanted to make us laugh. They were the best among us. They wanted to defend freedom and now they have been murdered in an unbearable slaughter. We cannot allow silence. Terror cannot be allowed to be victorious over joie de vivre and the freedom of expression. We cannot allow that. What took place is an act of war.”

He didn’t try to stop his tears. “Many Muslims are certainly also devastated today. Maybe we in the media were no longer at the cusp. We didn’t talk enough about the rise of Islamists in France; we didn’t sound the alarm soon enough. It is so terrible. There will be a before and an after. Our country will never again be the same.”

Then he quoted the French philosopher Elisabeth Badinter. During the caricature trial against Charlie Hebdo in 2007, she said that if the magazine lost, “a vast silence will fall over us.”

Reported by Georg Diez, Ullrich Fichtner, Hubert Gude, Julia Amalia Heyer, Romain Leick, Mathieu von Rohr, Britta Sandberg, Fidelius Schmid, Samiha Shafy and Jonathan Stock


The Strange Cult of Mohammad: The Coming Grand Expulsions

by Dr. Phillip L. Kushner

Head of Mathematics Department

University of Texas (Austin)


What is Islam? Who was Mohammad?


Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion, articulated by the Qur’an, a text considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God and by the Prophet of Islam Muhammad’s teachings.

Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable and that the purpose of life is to worship God They regard their religion as the completed and universal version of a primordial, monotheistic faith revealed at many times and places before, including, notably, to the prophets Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Islamic tradition holds that previous messages and revelations have been changed and distorted over time. Religious practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are five obligatory acts of worship. Islamic law touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, encompassing everything from banking and warfare to welfare and the environment.

The majority of Muslims belong to one of two denominations, the Sunni and the Shi’a. About 13% of Muslims live in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country.31% in the Indian Subcontinent, 20% in the Middle Eastand 15% in Sub-saharan Africa. Sizable communities are also found in China and Russia, and parts of the Caribbean. Converts and immigrant communities are found in almost every part of the world. With about 1.57 billion Muslims comprising about 23% of the world’s population (see Islam by country), Islam is the second-largest religion in the world and arguably the fastest-growing religion in the world.

Islam’s fundamental theological concept is the belief that there is only one god. The Arabic term for God is Allah. Other non-Arabic nations might use different names, for instance in Turkey, the Turkish word for God, “Tanrı” is used as much as Allah. The first of the Five Pillars of Islam, declares that there is no god but God, and that Muhammad is God’s messenger. In traditional Islamic theology, God is beyond all comprehension; Muslims are not expected to visualize God but to worship and adore Him as the Protector. Muslims believe the purpose of life is to worship God. Although Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet, they reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and divinity of Jesus, comparing it to polytheism. In Islamic theology, Jesus was just a man and not the son of God;

Muhammad (c. 570 – June 8, 632) was a trader and camel-breeder and who later became  a religious, political, and military leader. Muslims now view him, not as the creator of a new religion, but as the restorer of the original, uncorrupted monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others. In Muslim tradition, Muhammad is viewed as the last and the greatest in a series of prophets—as the man closest to perfection, the possessor of all virtues. For the last 22 years of his life, in 610, beginning at age 40, Muhammad started receiving what he claimed were “revelations from God.” It now also appears that Muhammed suffered from some form of Alzheimer’s Disease and that his final days were given to long and senseless utterances that his supporters claimed were ‘revelations.’ The content of these revelations, known as the Qur’an, was memorized and recorded by his companions.

During this time, Muhammad preached to the people of Mecca, imploring them to abandon polytheism. Although some converted to Islam, Muhammad and his followers were persecuted by the leading Meccan authorities. After 12 years of preaching, Muhammad and the Muslims performed the Hijra (“emigration”) to the city of Medina in 622. There, with the Medinan converts and the Meccan migrants Muhammad established his political and religious authority. Within years, two battles had been fought against Meccan forces: the Battle of Badr in 624, which was a Muslim victory, and the Battle of Uhud in 625, which ended inconclusively. Conflict with Medinan Jewish clans who opposed the Muslims led to their exile, enslavement or death, and the Jewish enclave of Khaybar was subdued. At the same time, Meccan trade routes were cut off as Muhammad brought surrounding desert tribes under his control. By 629 Muhammad was victorious in the nearly bloodless Conquest of Mecca, and by the time of his death in 632 (at the age of 62) he and his followers ruled over the Arabian peninsula.

 In 630 A.D. Mecca was re-taken followed by the battle of Hunain wherein the army under command of the Prophet, the non-Muslim tribes were defeated , and a large number of the enemy were killed but, under the Prophet’s order, no child was harmed. Often, after such a murderous battle, Muhammad had young children, both boys and girls, brought before him, had them stripped naked and then chose ones he wished “to lie with.”

            One day after battle, Muhammad came back home and said to his daughter Fatima, “Wash the blood from this sword and I swear in the name of Allah this sword was obeying me all the time.” .

The number of military campaigns Muhammad led in person during the last ten years of his life is twenty-seven, in nine of which there was hard fighting.  The number of expeditions which he planned and sent out under other leaders is thirty-eight


Muhammad’s last speech to his followers on Mt Arafat:


…..”I descended by Allah with the sword in my hand, and my wealth will come from the shadow of my sword.  And the one who will disagree with me will be humiliated and persecuted.”

  Muhammad told Abu Sufyan: “Woe to you! Accept Islam and testify that Muhammad is the apostle of God before your neck is cut off by the sword.” Thus he professed the faith of Islam and became a Muslim. This man, Abu Sufyan, was not a believer at first, but he quickly “believed” after he was threatened by death.’

  So, even before Muhammad pagans were worshipping this black stone in the Kaba.  Are we surprised that although Muhammad  proclaimed only one God, he continued to participate in idol worship at this pagan shrine (Kaba); and Muslims still do idol worship there today.  The black stone of Ka’aba is nothing but a holdover within Islam, from pre-Islamic paganism.

 There is evidence that black stones were commonly worshipped in the Arab world.  In 190 A.D. Clement of Alexandria mentioned that “the Arabs worship stone”.  He was alluding to the black stone of Dusares at Petra.  In the 2nd century, Maximus Tyrius wrote; “The Arabians pay homage to I know not what god, which they represent by a quadrangular stone”.  Maximus was speaking of the Kaaba (Ka’ba) that contains the Black Stone.

 Muhammad led 27 military campaigns against innocent villages and caravans and planned 38 others


            “I am the prophet that laughs when killing my enemies.” 


             Muhammad posed as an apostle of God, yet his life was filled with lustfulness (12 marriages and sex with many children, both male and female, slaves and concubines), rapes, warfare, conquests, and unmerciful butcheries.  The infinitely good, just and all holy God preached by Muhammad simply cannot tolerate anything in the least unjust or sinful.  What Muhammad produced in the Qur’an is simply a book of gibberish consisting of later evil verses superseding earlier peaceful verses. These verses in Arabic poetically “tickle” the ears of Arab listeners.    

Modern Islam is a caustic blend of paganism and twisted Bible stories.      Muhammad, its lone “prophet”, who made no prophecies, conceived his religion to satiate his lust for power, sex, and money. He was a terrorist. And if you think these conclusions are shocking, additional research will easily uncover the evidence mostly from Islamic historians 70% of what is here is from Muslim and ex-Muslim historians – back to the 8th century.

             Accordingly, after a degenerative disease of which the main symptom were headache, loss of memory, increasing skin eruptions and incontinence, he died in the arms of his favorite wife, Aysha, on Radiulawwal 11 A.H.—633 A.D.

            After an objective and lengthy study of the life of Muhammad, the only rational conclusion is that Islam’s lone prophet was a ruthless terrorist, a mass-murderer, a thief, slave trader, rapist and aggressive pedophile.

            In his personal life, Muhammad had two great weaknesses. The first was greed. By looting caravans and Jewish settlements he had amassed fabulous wealth for himself, his family, and his tribe

When we turn and look at the life of Muhammad we find that he clearly killed and robbed people in the name of Allah according to the Quran. He taught his disciples by example, command, and precept that they could and should kill and rob in Allah’s name and force people to submit to Islam.

            His next greatest weakness was women and young boys. Although in the Quran he would limit his followers to having four wives, he himself took more than four wives, numerous concubines and young boys and girls into his bed.

            The question of the number of women with whom Muhammad was sexually involved either as wives, concubines or devotees was made a point of contention by the Jews in Muhammad’s day.

            “All the commentaries agree that verse 57 of Sura 4 (on-Nesa) was sent down after the Jews criticized Mohammad’s appetite for women, alleging that he had nothing to do except to take wives”

Since polygamy was practiced in the Old Testament by such patriarchs as Abraham, the mere fact that Muhammad had more than one wife is not sufficient in and of itself to discount his claim to prophethood. But this does negate the fact that the issue has historical in terms of trying to understand Muhammad as a man.

            It also poses a logical problem for Muslims. Because the Quran in Sura 4:3 forbids the taking of more than four wives, to have taken any more would have been sinful for Muhammad. He not only exceeded this fiat many times but also added young boys and girls to his harem in direct contravention of his own pronouncements.

            While in Islamic countries an eight or nine-year old girl can be given in marriage to an adult male, in the West, most people would shudder to think of an eight or nine-year old girl being given in marriage to anyone             

            This aspect of Muhammad’s personal life is something that many scholars pass over because they do not want to hurt the feelings of Muslims, or, more pragmatically, they do not want to experience a knife in the dark. Yet, history cannot be rewritten to avoid confronting the facts that Muhammad had unnatural desires for little girls and, even more reprehensible, little boys.

            The documentation for all the women in Muhammad’s harem is so vast and has been presented so many times by able scholars that only those who use circular reasoning can object to it.

 Though a forbidden subject, pedophilia and homosexual practices were an active part of Muhammad’s life. Today, homosexuality and pedophilia is a very strong part of Muslim life. Adherents of Islam believe that these activities are fully approved, not only by the writings in the Quran but also by the examples set during his lifetime by the Prophet Muhammad himself. His harem did indeed have many women but many of them were as young as nine and there were also a significant number of pre-pubescent boys among them

  In brief summation, the Prophet of the Muslim faith does not come off as a spiritual leader. He lied; he cheated; he lusted; he failed to keep his word, He was neither perfect nor sinless. By Western standards of the present time, Muhammad was a fraud, a common murderer, a lecher and a pedophile.


Homosexuality and Islam


For centuries, Muslim men have taken boys, roughly 9 to 15 years old, as lovers. Some research suggests that half the Muslim Afghanistani Pashtun tribal members in Kandahar and other southern Afghanistan  towns are bacha baz, the term for an older man with a boy lover. Literally it means “boy player.” The men like to boast about it.

 The Pashtun are Afghanistan’s most important tribe. For centuries, the nation’s leaders have been Pashtun.

As for Karzai, an American who worked in and around his palace in an official capacity for many months told me that homosexual behavior “was rampant” among “soldiers and personnel on the security detail. They talked about boys all the time.”

In Kandahar, population about 500,000, and other towns, dance parties are a popular, often weekly, pastime. Young boys dress up as girls, wearing makeup and bells on their feet, and dance for a dozen or more leering middle-aged men who throw money at them and then take them home. A recent State Department report called “dancing boys” a “widespread, culturally sanctioned form of male rape.”

A recent (July 2010) Department of State analysis, heavily classified,not only discusses rampant homosexual pedophilia among Muslims, not only in Afghanistan but also in Iraq, Iran and, especially, in Saudi Arabia. The thesis that American and NATO forces fighting and dying to defend tens of thousands of proud, aggressive pedophiles, is a subject that has been forbidden of discussion by orders from the White House itself. Fear of “energizing’ the Muslim world and creating more active terrorists is the maini motive for this concern.

Sociologists and anthropologists say the problem results from interpretation of Islamic law. Even after marriage, many men keep their boys, suggesting a loveless life at home. A favored Muslim expression goes: “Women are for children, boys are for pleasure.” Fundamentalist Muslim imams, exaggerating a biblical passage on menstruation, teach that women are “unclean” and therefore distasteful. That helps explain why women are hidden away – and stoned to death if they are perceived to have misbehaved. Islamic law also forbids homosexuality. But the pedophiles explain that away. ‘It’s not homosexuality, they aver, because they aren’t in love with their boys’.They only sodomize them because they view women as unclean and the Prophet approved of pedophelia .


Islamic revival and Islamist movements


The 20th century saw the Islamic world increasingly exposed to outside cultural influences, bringing potential changes to Muslim societies. In response, new Islamic “revivalist” movements were initiated as a counter movement to non-Islamic ideas. Groups such as Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt advocate a totalistic and theocratic alternative to secular political ideologies. Sometimes called Islamist, they see Western cultural values as a threat, and promote Islam as a comprehensive solution to every public and private question of importance.

In countries like Iran, revolutionary movements replaced secular regime with an Islamic state, while transnational groups like Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda engage in terrorism to further their goals.

Modern criticism of Islam includes accusations that Islam is intolerant of criticism and that Islamic law is too hard on apostates from Islam. Critics like Ibn Warraq question the morality of the Qu’ran, saying that its contents justify the mistreatment of women, homosexuality and encourage antisemitic remarks by Muslim theologians.

Daniel Pipes and Martin Kramer focus more on criticizing the spread of Islamic fundamentalism, a danger they feel has been ignored




Jihad means “to strive or struggle” (in the way of God) and is considered the “Sixth Pillar of Islam” by a minority of Sunni Muslim authorities. Jihad, in its broadest sense, is classically defined as “exerting one’s utmost power, efforts, endeavors, or ability in contending with an object of disapprobation.

Within Islamic jurisprudence, jihad is usually taken to mean military exertion against non-Muslim combatants in the defense or expansion of the Ummah. The ultimate purpose of military jihad is the goal of global conquest. Jihad is the only form of warfare permissible in Islamic law and may be declared against apostates, rebels, highway robbers, violent groups, and non-Muslim leaders or states who oppress Muslims or hamper its aggressive proselytizing efforts.

Under most circumstances and for most Muslims, jihad is a collective duty


Sub-Cults of Islam



Sunni Muslims are the largest group in Islam, comprising the vast bulk of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims, The Qur’an and the Sunnah (the example of Muhammad’s life) as recorded in hadith are the primary foundations of Sunni doctrine. Sunnis believe that the first four caliphs were the rightful successors to Muhammad; since God did not specify any particular leaders to succeed him, those leaders had to be elected. Sunnis believe that a caliph should be chosen by the whole community.


The Shi’a constitute 10–13% of Islam and are its second-largest branch. They believe in the political and religious leadership of Imams from the progeny of Ali ibn Abi Talib, who according to most Shi’a are in a state of ismah, meaning infallibility. They believe that Ali ibn Abi Talib, as the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, was his rightful successor, and they call him the first Imam (leader), rejecting the legitimacy of the previous Muslim caliphs. To most Shi’a, an Imam rules by right of divine appointment and holds “absolute spiritual authority” among Muslims, having final say in matters of doctrine and revelation. Shias regard Ali as the prophet’s true successor and believe that a caliph is appointed by divine will. Shi’a Islam has several branches, the largest of which is the Twelvers which the label Shi’a generally refers to.


Sufism is a mystical-ascetic approach to Islam that seeks to find divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God. By focusing on the more spiritual aspects of religion, Sufis strive to obtain direct experience of God by making use of “intuitive and emotional faculties” that one must be trained to use. Sufism and Islamic law are usually considered to be complementary, although Sufism has been criticized by salafi for what they see as an unjustified religious innovation. Many Sufi orders, or tariqas, can be classified as either Sunni or Shi’a, but others classify themselves simply as ‘Sufi’. Some Sufi groups can be described as non-Islamic when their teachings are very distinct from Islam


The Demographics of Islam


A comprehensive 2009 demographic study of 232 countries and territories reported that 23% of the global population or 1.57 billion people are Muslims. Of those, an estimated 87–90% are Sunni and 10–13% are Shi’a with a small minority belonging to other sects. Approximately 50 countries are Muslim-majority, and Arabs account for around 20% of all Muslims worldwide.

 The majority of Muslims live in Asia and Africa. Approximately 62% of the world’s Muslims live in Asia, with over 683 million adherents in Indonesia, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. In the Middle East, non-Arab countries such as Turkey and Iran are the largest Muslim-majority countries; in Africa, Egypt and Nigeria have the most populous Muslim communities

 Most estimates indicate that the People’s Republic of China has approximately 20 to 30 million Muslims (1.5% to 2% of the population). However, data provided by the San Diego State University’s International Population Center to U.S. News & World Report suggests that China has 65.3 million Muslims. Islam is the second largest religion after Christianity in many European countries, and is slowly catching up to that status in the Americas, with between 2,454,000, according to Pew Forum, and approximately 7 million Muslims, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), in the United States.


Muslims in Europe: Country guide

Islam is widely considered Europe’s fastest growing religion, with immigration and above average birth rates leading to a rapid increase in the Muslim population.

The exact number of Muslims is difficult to establish however, as census figures are often questioned and many countries choose not to compile such information anyway.



Total population: 3.1 million

Muslim population: 2.2 million (70%)

Background: Religious worship was banned in Albania until the transition from Stalinist state to democracy in the 1990s. Islam is now openly recognized as the country’s major religion and most Albanians are Sunni Muslim by virtue of the nation’s history: The Balkans has had centuries of association with the faith as many parts of it were part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. While the empire is long gone, the culture remained in place. Significant populations of Albanian Muslims exist in a number of other European countries.

Sources: Total population – Albanian Institute of Statistics, 2005; Muslim population – UK Foreign Office.


Total population: 8.2 million

Muslim population: 339,000 (4.1%)

Background: Large numbers of Muslims lived under Austrian rule when Bosnia-Hercegovina was annexed by Austria-Hungary in 1908. Many of Austria’s Muslims have roots in Turkey and others arrived from the Balkans during the 1990s wars – partly because of historical ties. Islam has been recognized as an official religion in Austria for many years, meaning that it has a role in the religious teaching in schools. Vienna has historically been regarded as the point where the Islamic world reached its most western point, a critical battle in Austria in the 16th century marking the beginning of the decline of the Turkish Ottoman Empire.

Sources: Total population – Statistics Austria, 2005 figures; Muslim population – Statistics Austria, 2001 figures.


Total population: 10.3 million

Muslim population: 0.4 million (4%)

Background: Islam is one of seven recognized religions in Belgium, a status that brings it a number of subsidies and official roles, such as providing teachers. Despite this there have been complaints of discrimination. Unemployment and poor housing have been one such cause of tension. There have also been claims of discrimination against women in traditional dress. A majority of Belgium’s Muslims are of Moroccan or Turkish origin; many others are from Albania. (Citizenship is available after seven years).

Sources: Total population – Statistics Belgium 2001; Muslim population – US State Department.


Total population: 3.8 million

Muslim population: 1.5 million (40%)

Background: Bosnia-Hercegovina is still recovering from the bloody inter-ethnic war of 1992-95. Around 250,000 people died in the conflict between Bosnian Muslims, Croats and Serbs. Almost 8,000 Muslims were killed by Bosnian Serbs at Srebrenica in 1995 – Europe’s worst atrocity since World War II. Many Muslims were displaced, as were members of other communities. A peacekeeping force remains in the country, whose frontiers have long been considered the western borders of the Islamic faith in Europe.

Sources: Total population – Agency for Statistics Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2003 figures; Muslim population – US State Department.


Total population: 5.4 million

Muslim population: 270,000 (5%)

Background: In the 1970s Muslims arrived from Turkey, Pakistan, Morocco and the former Yugoslavia to work. In the 1980s and 90s the majority of Muslim arrivals were refugees and asylum seekers from Iran, Iraq, Somalia and Bosnia. Access to housing and employment have been sources of concern for Muslims in Denmark. (A minority have citizenship).

Sources: Total population – Statistics Denmark, 2004 figures; Muslim population – US State Department.


Total population: 62.3 million

Muslim population: Five to six million (8-9.6%)

Background: The French Muslim population is the largest in western Europe. About 70% have their heritage in former north African colonies of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. France favors integration and many Muslims are citizens. Nevertheless, the growth of the community has challenged the French ideal of strict separation of religion and public life. There has been criticism that Muslims face high unemployment and often live in poor suburbs. A ban on religious symbols in public schools provoked a major national row as it was widely regarded as being a ban on the Islamic headscarf. Late 2005 saw widespread and prolonged rioting among mainly immigrant communities across France. Recent French forced mass expulsions of Gypsies have caused great apprehension, and anger, in France’s large and often very restive Muslim population

Sources: Total population – National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies, 2004 figures; Muslim population – French government estimate.


Total population: 82.5 million

Muslim population: 3 million (3.6%)

Background: The majority of the Muslim population is Turkish, with many retaining strong links to Turkey. Others arrived from Bosnia and Kosovo during the Balkan wars. Until recently Muslims were considered “guest workers”, who would one day leave the country – a view that is changing. Racist violence is a sensitive issue, with the authorities trying a range of strategies to beat it.

Sources: Total population – Federal Statistical Office, 2004 figures; Muslim population – Federal Ministry of the Interior estimate.


Total population: 58.4 million

Muslim population: 825,000 (1.4%)

Background: The Muslim population is diverse, the largest group coming from Morocco. Others are from elsewhere in North Africa, south Asia, Albania, and the Middle East. Most arrived from the 1980s onwards, many of them as students. Italy is working to formalize relations between the state and the Muslim community. Up to 160,000 Muslims are Italian born. Most Muslims have the right to reside and work in Italy, but are not citizens.

Sources: Total population – Italian National Statistical Institute; Muslim population – UK Foreign Office.


Total population: 2.1 million

Muslim population: 630,000 (30%)

Background: Macedonia’s largest religion is Macedonian Orthodox, but almost one third of the population describe themselves as Muslim. Macedonia was spared the inter-ethnic violence that affected much of the Balkans following the break-up of Yugoslavia. But in early 2001 rebels staged an uprising demanding greater rights for the ethnic Albanian minority – a group which includes most Muslims. With EU and NATO support a deal was reached offering them greater rights, although some have been unhappy with the pace of change. The US State Department suggests that religious freedom is generally respected and that “societal discrimination is more likely to be based upon ethnic bias” than religion.

Sources: Total population – UK Foreign Office; Muslim population – UK Foreign Office


Total population: 16.3 million

Muslim population: 945,000 or 5.8%

Background: The integration of Muslims remains a concern for the Dutch government, particularly after a film-maker critical of Islam was murdered in 2004 by a radical Islamist. Further tensions surround the view held by some that there is a high level of crime among Muslim youths and a problem with unemployment. In the 1950s Muslims arrived from the former colonies of Suriname and Indonesia. One of the most important groups is the substantial Somali minority. Others are from Turkey and Morocco..

Sources: Total population – Statistics Netherlands, 2005 figures; Muslim population – Statistics Netherlands, 2004 figures.

Serbia and Montenegro (with Kosovo)

Total population: 10.8 million (including Kosovo); 8.1 million (excluding Kosovo)

Muslim population: Serbia and Montenegro – 405,000 (5%); Kosovo – about 1.8 million (90%)

Background (excluding Kosovo): Within Serbia and Montenegro the predominant religion is Serbian Orthodoxy. Islam is the second largest faith, with Muslims accounting for about 5% of the population, rising to about 20% in Montenegro. The Muslim community is considered one of seven “traditional” religious communities. Religion and ethnicity remain closely linked across the country and discrimination and tensions continue to be reported.

Kosovo background: The late 1990s saw devastating conflict after the Kosovo Liberation Army, supported by the majority ethnic Albanians – most of whom are Muslim – came out in open rebellion against Serbian rule. Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic began “ethnic cleansing” against the Kosovo Albanian population. Thousands died and hundreds of thousands fled. NATO intervened between March and June 1999 with a 78 day bombing campaign to push back Serb forces and Kosovo remains under UN control. The ethnic Albanian community has expressed frustration at the length of time being taken to decide Kosovo’s future status. Attacks against Kosovo’s remaining minority Serb population have caused concern.

Sources: Total population – UK Foreign Office; Muslim population – US State Department.


Total population: 43.1 million

Muslim population: 1 million (2.3%)

Background: Almost eight centuries of Moorish rule over Spain came to an end in 1492, providing the country with a strong Islamic legacy, particularly in its architecture. The modern Muslim population started to arrive in significant numbers in the 1970s. Many were Moroccans coming to work in tourism and subsequent growth came when their families joined them. The state recognizes Islam, affording it a number of privileges including the teaching of Islam in schools and religious holidays. There have been some reports of tension towards Muslim immigrants. Spain was shaken in 2004 when terror attacks by radical Islamists killed 191 people on Madrid commuter trains.

Sources: Total population – Spanish National Institute of Statistics, 2005 figures; Muslim population – US State Department.


Total population: 9 million

Muslim population: 300,000 (3%)

Background: The Muslim population is broad – with significant groups from Turkey, Bosnia, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and Syria. The size of the Muslim population is such that representative bodies receive state funding. There is now growing social tensions in Sweden, provoked by Muslim arrogance and, also, by increasingly forceful demands by the Muslim community for more welfare assistance. A great surge of rapes of Swedish women by Muslim men is also a point of friction.

Sources: Total population – Statistics Sweden

 2005 figures; Muslim population – US State Department.


Total population: 7.4 million

Muslim population: 310,800 (4.2%)

Background: Official figures suggest the Muslim population has doubled in recent years, but some sources say there are also about 150,000 Muslims in the country illegally. The first Muslims arrived as workers in the 1960s, mostly from Turkey, the former Yugoslavia and Albania. They were joined by their families in the 1970s and, in recent years, by asylum seekers. (Comparatively few have citizenship.) Recently, the Swiss have been clamping down on what was a burgeoning and aggressive Muslim population and Muslim radicals threatened a jihad against the country. A number of these radicals were promptly arrested and expelled from the country.

Sources: Total population – Swiss Federal Statistical Office, 2003 figures; Muslim population – Swiss Federal Statistical Office, 2000 figures.


Total population: 68.7 million

Muslim population: 68 million (99%)

Background: Although Turkey is a secular state, Islam is an important part of Turkish life. Its application to join the EU divided existing members, some of which questioned whether a poor, Muslim country could fit in. Turkey accused its EU opponents of favoring a “Christian club”. Membership talks were formally launched in October 2005, with negotiations expected to take 10 years. Most Turks are Sunni Muslim, but a significant number are of the Alevi branch of Shias.

Sources: Total population – Turkish State Institute of Statistics, 2003 figures; Muslim population – US State Department

United Kingdom

Total population: 58.8 million

Muslim population: 1.6 million (2.8%)

Background: The UK has a long history of contact with Muslims, with links forged from the Middle Ages onwards. In the 19th Century Yemeni men came to work on ships, forming one of the country’s first Muslim communities. In the 1960s, significant numbers of Muslims arrived as people in the former colonies took up offers of work. Some of the first were East African Asians, while many came from south Asia. Permanent communities formed and at least 50% of the current population was born in the UK. Significant communities with links to Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and the Balkans also exist. The 2001 Census showed one third of the Muslim population was under 16 – the highest proportion for any group. It also highlighted high levels of unemployment, low levels of qualifications and low home ownership.

Sources: Total population – Office for National Statistics, 2001 figures; Muslim population – Office for National Statistics, 2001 figures.


Muslim population in European cities


Marseilles – 25% (200,000 of 800,000) PACA region – 20% (0.7-1.0 million of 1.5 million)

Malmo -25% [percent of immigrants, foreign born or both parents foreign born]: 36%

Amsterdam – 24% (180,000 of 750,000) Greater Amsterdam – 12.7%

Stockholm – 20% (155,000 of 771,038) [percent of immigrants: 36%

Brussels – 17%-20% (160,000-220,000) [some say 33%]

Moscow – 16%-20% (2 million of 10-12 million)

Greater London – 17% (1.3 million of 7.5 million)

Luton – 14.6% (26,963)

Birmingham 14.3% (139,771)

The Hague – 14.2% ( 67,896 of 475,580) Greater Hague – 11%

Utrecht – 13.2% (38,300 of 289,000) Greater Utrecht – 7%

Rotterdam – 13% (80,000 of 600,000) Greater Rotterdam – 9.9%

Copenhagen – 12.6% (63,000 of 500,000)

Leicester – 11% (30,000 of 280,000)

Aarhus -10%

Zaan district (Netherlands) – 8.8%

Paris – 7.38% (155,000 of 2.1 million)

Antwerp- 6.7% (30,000 of 450,000)

Hamburg – 6.4% (110,000 of 1.73 million)

Berlin – 5.9% (200,000 of 3.40 million)



Muslims in the United States


The earliest documented case of a Muslim to come to the United States is Dutchman Anthony Janszoon van Salee, who came to New Amsterdam around 1630 and was referred to as ‘Turk’. The oldest Muslim community to establish in the country was the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, in 1921 however, like the Nation of Islam, this sect is considered heretical by the mainstream Muslim community.

Once very small, the Muslim population of the US increased greatly in the twentieth century, with much of the growth driven by rising immigration and conversion. In 2005, more people from Islamic countries became legal permanent United States residents — nearly 96,000 — than in any year in the previous two decades.

Recent immigrant Muslims make up the majority of the total Muslim population. South Asians Muslims from India and Pakistan and Arabs make up the biggest group of Muslims in America at 60-65% of the population. Native-born American Muslims are mainly African Americans who make up a quarter of the total Muslim population. Many of these have converted to Islam during the last seventy years. Conversion to Islam in prison, and in large urban areas  has also contributed to its growth over the years. American Muslims come from various backgrounds, and are one of the most racially diverse religious group in the United States according to a 2009 Gallup poll.

A Pew report released in 2009 noted that nearly six-in-ten American adults see Muslims as being subject to discrimination, more than Mormons, Atheists, or Jews. Modern immigration

There is no accurate count of the number of Muslims in the United States, as the U.S. Census Bureau does not collect data on religious identification. There is an ongoing debate as to the true size of the Muslim population in the US. Various institutions and organizations have given widely varying estimates about how many Muslims live in the U.S. These estimates have been controversial, with a number of researchers being explicitly critical of the survey methodologies that have led to the higher estimates.

            Others claim that no scientific count of Muslims in the U.S. has been done, but that the larger figures should be considered accurate. Some journalists have also alleged that the higher numbers have been inflated for political purposes. On the other hand, some Muslim groups blame Islamophobia and the fact that many Muslims identify themselves as Muslims, but do not attend mosques for the lower estimates.

 According to a 2007 religious survey, 72% of Muslims believe religion is very important, which is higher in comparison to the overall population of the United States at 59%. The frequency of receiving answers to prayers among Muslims was, 31% at least once a week and 12% once or twice a month. Nearly a quarter of the Muslims are converts to Islam (23%), mainly native-born. Of the total who have converted, 59% are African American and 34% white. Previous religions of those converted was Protestantism (67%), Roman Catholicism (10%) and 15% no religion.

Mosques are usually explicitly Sunni or Shia. There are 1,209 mosques in the United States and the nation’s largest mosque, the Islamic Center of America, is in Dearborn, Michigan. It caters mainly to the Shi’a Muslim congregation; however, all Muslims may attend this mosque. It was rebuilt in 2005 to accommodate over 3,000 people for the increasing Muslim population in the region.

In many areas, a mosque may be dominated by whatever group of immigrants is the largest. Sometimes the Friday sermons, or khutbas, are given in languages like Urdu or Arabic along with English. Areas with large Muslim populations may support a number of mosques serving different immigrant groups or varieties of belief within Sunni or Shi’a traditions. At present, many mosques are served by imams who immigrate from overseas, as only these imams have certificates from Muslim seminaries. The influence of the Wahhabi movement in the US has caused concern.

            Muslim Americans are racially diverse communities in the United States, two-thirds are foreign-born. The majority, about three-fifths of Muslim Americans are of South Asian and Arab origin, a quarter of the population are recent converts of whites and indigenous African Americans, while the remaining are other ethnic groups which  includes Turks, Iranians, Bosnians, Malays, Indonesians, West Africans, Somalis, Kenyans, with also small but growing numbers of white and Hispanic converts.

 A survey of ethnic comprehension by the Pew Forum survey in 2007 showed that 37% respondents viewed themselves white(mainly of Arab and South Asian origin), 24% were Africans and White converts in the ratio 2:1, 20% Asian (mainly South Asian origin), 15% other race (includes mixed Arabs or Asians) and 4% were of Hispanic descent. Since the arrival of South Asian and Arab communities during the 1990s there has been divisions with the African Americans due to the racial and cultural differences, however since post 9/11, the two groups joined together when the immigrant communities looked towards the African Americans for advice on civil rights.

 Remembering the fact that Arabs are generally counted among Whites and majority of Arabs in U.S. are Christians; the more accurate figure would be 65-70% South Asians and Arabs in the ratio 1:1 to 2:1 (includes mixed Arabs and Asians which comprise a significant 25% of the total Asian population) 20-25% Blacks belonging to traditional and Nations Of Islam sect and 4% were of Hispanic descent. Only about a quarter of the Arab American population is Muslim. The 2000 census reported about 1.25 million Americans of Arab ancestry. Contrary to popular perceptions the condition of Muslims in U.S. is very good. Among South Asians in this country, the large Indian American community stands out as particularly well educated and prosperous, with education and income levels that exceed those of U.S.-born whites. Many are professionals, especially doctors, scientists, engineers, and financial analysts, and there are also a large number of entrepreneurs. The five urban areas with the largest Indian populations include the Washington/Baltimore metropolitan area as well as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

The 10 states with the largest Muslim populations are California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, Texas, Ohio, and Maryland. 45 percent of immigrant Muslims report annual household income levels of $50,000 or higher. This compares to the national average of 44 percent. Immigrant Muslims are well represented among higher-income earners, with 19 percent claiming annual household incomes of $100,000 or higher (compared to 16 percent for the Muslim population as a whole and 17 percent for the U.S. average). This is likely due to the strong concentration of Muslims in professional, managerial, and technical fields, especially in information technology, education, medicine, law, and the corporate world.

 Approximately half (50%) of the religious affiliations of Muslims is Sunni, 16% Shia, 22% non-affiliated and 16% other/non-response. Muslims of Arab descent are mostly Sunni (56%) with minorities who are Shia (19%). Pakistanis (62%) and Indians (82%) are mainly Sunni, while Iranians are mainly Shia (91%).Of African American Muslims, 48% are Sunni, 34% are unaffiliated, 2% Shia, the remaining are others.

 In 2005, according to the New York Times, more people from Muslim countries became legal permanent United States residents — nearly 96,000 — than in any year in the previous two decades. In addition to immigration, the state, federal and local prisons of the United States may be a contributor to the growth of Islam in the country. J. Michael Waller claims that Muslim inmates comprise 17-20% of the prison population, or roughly 350,000 inmates in 2003. He also claims that 80% of the prisoners who “find faith” while in prison convert to Islam. These converted inmates are mostly African American, with a small but growing Hispanic minority. Waller also asserts that many converts are radicalized by outside Islamist groups linked to terrorism, but other experts suggest that when radicalization does occur it has little to no connection with these outside interests.


U.S. Muslim population estimates

5 million+ U.S. News and World Report

7 million Council on American-Islam Relations


There is no accurate count of the number of Muslims in the United States, as the U.S. Historically, Muslim Americans tended to support the Republican Party.

Some Muslim Americans have been criticized for letting their religious beliefs affect their ability to act within mainstream American value systems. Muslim cab drivers in Minneapolis, Minnesota have been criticized for allegedly refusing passengers for carrying alcoholic beverages or dogs. The Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport authority has threatened to revoke the operating authority of any driver caught discriminating in this manner. There are reported incidents in which Muslim cashiers have refused to sell pork products to their clientèle.

Public institutions in the U.S. have also been criticized for accommodating Islam at the expense of taxpayers. The University of Michigan–Dearborn and a public college in Minnesota have been criticized for accommodating Islamic prayer rituals by constructing footbaths for Muslim students using tax-payers’ money. Critics claim this special accommodation, which is made only to satisfy Muslims’ needs, is a violation of Constitutional provisions separating church and stateAlong the same constitutional lines, a San Diego public elementary school is being criticized for making special accommodations specifically for American Muslims by adding Arabic to its curriculum and giving breaks for Muslim prayers. Since these exceptions have not been made for any religious group in the past, some critics see this as an endorsement of Islam.

The first American Muslim Congressman, Keith Ellison, created controversy when he compared President George W. Bush’s actions after the September 11, 2001 attacks to Adolf Hitler’s actions after the Nazi-sparked Reichstag fire, saying that Bush was exploiting the aftermath of 9/11 for political gain, as Hitler had exploited the Reichstag fire to suspend constitutional liberties. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Anti-Defamation League condemned Ellison’s remarks. The congressman later retracted the statement, saying that it was “inappropriate” for him to have made the comparison.

At Columbus Manor School, a suburban Chicago elementary school with a student body nearly half Arab American, school board officials have considered eliminating holiday celebrations after Muslim parents complained that their culture’s holidays were not included. Local parent Elizabeth Zahdan said broader inclusion, not elimination, was the group’s goal. “I only wanted them modified to represent everyone,” the Chicago Sun-Times quoted her as saying. “Now the kids are not being educated about other people.” However, the district’s superintendent, Tom Smyth, said too much school time was being taken to celebrate holidays already, and he sent a directive to his principals requesting that they “tone down” activities unrelated to the curriculum, such as holiday parties.

The 2007 Pew poll reported that 15% of American Muslims under the age of 30 supported suicide bombings against civilian targets in at least some circumstances, while a further 11 percent said it could be “rarely justified.” Among those over the age of 30, just 6% expressed their support for the same. (9% of Muslims over 30 and 5% under 30 chose not to answer). Only 5% of American Muslims had a favorable view of al-Qaeda

             Some Muslims in the U.S. have adopted the strong anti-American opinions common in many Muslim-majority countries. In some cases, these are recent immigrants who have carried their anti-American sentiments with them. The Egyptian cleric, Omar Abdel-Rahman is now serving a jail sentence for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He had a long history of involvement with Islamist and jihadi groups before arriving in the US.

 There is an openly anti-American Muslim group in the U.S. The Islamic Thinkers Society found only in New York City, engages in leafleting and picketing to spread their viewpoint.

 Young, immigrant Muslims feel more frustrated and exposed to prejudice than their parents are. Because most U.S. Muslims are raised conservatively, and won’t consider rebelling through sex or drugs, many experiment with their faith shows a poll, dated June 7, 2007.

 At least one non-immigrant American, John Walker Lindh, has also been imprisoned or convicted on charges of serving in the Taliban army and carrying weapons against U.S. soldiers. He had converted to Islam in the U.S., moved to Yemen to study Arabic, and thence went to Pakistan where he was recruited by the Taliban.

Other notable cases include:

The Buffalo Six: Shafal Mosed, Yahya Goba, Sahim Alwan, Mukhtar Al-Bakri, Yasein Taher, Elbaneh Jaber. Six Muslims from the Lackawanna, N.Y. area were charged and convicted for providing material support to al Qaeda.

Iyman Faris In October 2003 Iyman Faris was sentenced to 20 years in prison for providing material support and resources to al Qaeda and conspiracy for providing the terrorist organization with information about possible U.S. targets for attack.

Ahmed Omar Abu Ali In November 2005 he was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison for providing material support and resources to al Qaeda, conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States, conspiracy to commit air piracy and conspiracy to destroy aircraft

Ali al-Tamimi was convicted and sentenced in April 2005 to life in prison for recruiting Muslims in the US to fight U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

            Daniel Pipes, Steven Emerson and Robert Spencer have suggested that a segment of the U.S. Muslim population exhibit hate and a wish for violence towards the United States.

Muslim convert journalist Stephen Schwartz, American Jewish Committee terrorism expert Yehudit Barsky, and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer have all separately testified to a growing radical Islamist Wahhabi influence in U.S. mosques, financed by extremist groups. According to Barsky, 80% of U.S. mosques are so radicalized. In an effort to address this extremist influence, ISNA has implemented assorted programs and guidelines in order to help mosques identify and counter any such individuals.


The Solution: Expulsion


The international communities with large Muslim populations have been secretly meeting to agree upon corrective steps to deal with this problem. The commission is called ‘Energy Control Commission’  and its members are: The United States, India, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy. This commission has been meeting on a monthly basis in Copenhagen since July of 2006. Its sole purpose is to address the flood of potentially dangerous Muslims into Western countries. A good deal of intelligence material has surfaced in which telephone and internet communications between various Muslim activist groups point very clearly to deliberate infiltration of non-Muslim countries with the double goal of overwhelming the native populations with numbers and threats of physical violence, Muslim groups are strongly anti-Christian and are most especially vindictive towards any country that has engaged in military action against any Muslim country. The United States is considered a prime target for infiltration and domestic terrorism while Great Britain, Ireland, Sweden and France are also high on activist terrorist lists. The general agreement between all parties is that Muslims cannot remain in basically Christian countries because of their often-stated desire to not only take over these countries by population increase but also by the on-going threat of terrorism. At this time, the Commission is awaiting what is felt to be the imminent death of Libya’s Muammar al-Gaddafi, When this event occurs, either naturally of from outside implementation, Libya will then be opened up as a designated ‘Country of Welcome’ and when this happens, mass deportations of Europe, and America’s, Muslims will begin. This Islamic Diaspora will be implemented by a joint team of multi-national military personnel using aircraft and shipping that has already been allotted.  



Jeffery,Dr. Arthur Islam: Muhammad, and His Religion, New York: The Liberal Arts Press, 1958

Munir, Muhammed, Islam in History, Law Publishing Co., Lahore, Pakistan 1974. Munir was the former Chief Justice of Pakistan.

Gibb, H.A.R. Mohammedanism: An Historical Survey, New York: Mentor Books, 1955

Hisham, Ibn (828 A.D., “The Life of Muhammad”, 3rd ed., pt. 6, vol. 3 (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar-al-Jil, 1998),

Watt, William Montgomery, Muhammad’s Mecca, p. vii. Also see his article, “Belief in a High God in Pre-Islamic Mecca”, Journal of Semitic Studies, Vol. 16, 1971,

             Encyclopedia of Islam, I:302, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1913, Houtsma.

            “Arabic Lexicographical Miscellanies” by J. Blau in the Journal of Semitic Studies, Vol. XVII, #2, 1972

            Islam: Beliefs and Observations, New York, Barrons, 1987, p. 28).

             Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, I:41, Anthony Mercatante, New York, The Facts on File, 1983

            The Call of the Minaret, New York: Oxford University Press, 1956, p. 31).

            Morey, Dr. Robert;  “The Islamic Invasion” by Harvest Home Publishers, 1992. ISBN 0-89081-983-1)


My co-authors are: Thomas K, Kimmel, Jr.of Cocoa Beach, FL a retired FBI official  and Mohan Srivastava, a mathematician with FSS International, Vancouver,B.C.(a holding company of Radian Holdings Premier, Inc. Kyoto, Japan)



            Dr. Phillip L. Kushner

          email address:pkushner@math.utexas.edu  

Home Address: 1845 W. 36th St., Austin, TX 78731


Work:(512) 232-6188 or (512) 471-0119 (Dept. Secty)

Home: (512) 451-8860



Ph.D., Stanford University, 1994

Petroleum Geology, Statistics, Applied Earth Sciences.

Office: RLM 13.146 Hours: MWF 10:00-11:00 a.m.



Blessed Prozac Moments


And in a far lighter vein, here we have the usual invented blog nonsense, designed to impress all with the writer’s supreme intelligence. Most of these bloggers have obviously not been taking their medicines.

Paris Attack Ridiculous False Flag!
January 8, 2015


            Gordon Duff of VeteransToday.com absolutely destroys the official fairy tale of the Paris Attack. It wasn’t even filmed in Paris! It was either done in a studio or in another city and they proved that with their knowledge of Paris streets and by walking every street within 1 mile of the address. There is no street like that in Paris! They were firing blanks! Real AK-47’s don’t sound like that and take baseball sized chunks out of concrete. “Dead” cop was seen later very much alive. Gordon said it’s the most ridiculous false flag he’s ever seen!

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