TBR News March 26, 2016

Mar 26 2016

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C., March 26, 2016: “In general, advanced technology designed to help, ends up by hurting. The subject of the drone comes at once to mind. Whatever its useful designed purpose, the drone has become an instrument of death and destruction and now, is being used by its developers to spy on the American, and foreign, populations. Drones have killed more people that aspartame and now we have them in America, in the hands of the military, the CIA and other investigative entities, local police departments, private snoopers and anyone else, staring down at Americans sunbathing, swimming, hiking and working in offices. Overseas, the CIA uses drones to kill their perceived enemies, their families, friends and stray humans who are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now, it is estimated that over 300,000 small drones have been sold in the United States to anyone who can afford them. Soon enough, one will fly smack into the engine of a commercial airliner and kill 300 people. Already, law enforcement is calling for many restrictions on the civilian drones because they see very clearly that if some large tragedy happens because of drone use, their own snooping will be curtailed. And we learn from a friend that our wonderful CIA has developed small killer drones. Armed with a television camera, a gunsite and a .223 single-shot weapon, a killer drone can pick out a target, swoop down on them from the sky, unseen, and fire a shot into his head before zipping off out of sight. The CIA had sent two of these to the CIA people in the US Embassy in Moscow, in the bag of course, with the sole purpose of finding Edward Snowden taking a walk and blowing his brains out. Somehow, the Russians found out about this and the project failed. The problem with such marvelous technological devices is that they can, and will, come back on those who use them.”


Near misses between drones and airplanes on the rise in US, says FAA

Reported sightings of unmanned aircrafts by piloted aircrafts have increased dramatically since 2014, with serious close shaves in Atlanta and Missouri

March 25, 2016

by Mark Harris

The Guardian

A report of drone sightings from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shows that despite a new registration scheme, near misses between unmanned and piloted aircraft in American are on the rise. Sightings by pilots and airport officials have steadily increased from less than one a day in 2014, to over 3.5 between August 2015 and January this year, many of them from commercial passenger aircraft.

In the most serious incident, the pilot of an American Airlines jet last September had to swerve to avoid a drone. On September 13, flight 475 took off from Atlanta, Georgia en route to Charlotte, North Carolina. It was climbing to 3,500 ft when the pilot of the Airbus had to take evasive action to avoid a collision with an unidentified unmanned aerial system (UAS) or drone. The pilot told the FAA that he or she “just missed’ the drone.

In another incident in November, a helicopter leaving St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri encountered a black and grey drone 1,400 ft above a city centre park. The pilot of the air ambulance reported that he had to make a steep banking turn to avoid the UAS, passing it at less than 100 feet. There were no patients on board, and no reports of any injuries or damage.

In both cases, local law enforcement was notified but no arrests seem to have been made.

Of the 582 sightings of drones reported to the FAA between August and January, there were two other instances where pilots were forced to take evasive action. In October, a helicopter pilot approaching Miami airport had to swerve after a drone approached to within 150 feet.

The closest shave happened in December, when the pilot of a helicopter in Concord, California, reported seeing a UAS as close as five feet to his aircraft, at an altitude of 1000 feet above in Concord, California.

“We have a number of educational initiatives with our government and industry partners to teach drone operators how to fly safely, including the drone registry we launched last December,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “But enforcement goes hand-in-hand with education, and we will take action against anyone who operates irresponsibly to the full extent of the law.”

More than 406,000 people have registered since the registry went live in late December. The process costs $5 and requires drone owners to mark their registration number somewhere on the drone itself. Toy drones weighing less than 250g are exempt from registration, but none of these would have had the range or endurance to reach the altitudes reported in the near misses above.

The FAA is also slowing developing an air traffic control system for drones, that would allow UAS to automatically avoid manned aircraft and each other.

“The biggest single concern of FAA is manned aircraft,” says Bob Young, CEO of PrecisionHawk, a startup helping to build and test the system. “This quite correct, as flying objects are not like cars. You can’t just put up a fence to keep them out. When I get on an flight, I want regulators to keep drones a long away from my airplane.”


To Keep America Safe, Embrace Drone Warfare

February. 19, 2016

by Michael V. Hayden

New York Times

“Are you sure they’re there?” the decision maker asks. “They” are Qaeda operatives who have been planning attacks against the United States.

“Yes, sir,” the intelligence analyst replies, ticking off the human and electronic sources of information. “We’ve got good Humint. We’ve been tracking with streaming video. Sigint’s checking in now and confirming it’s them. They’re there.”

The decision maker asks if there are civilians nearby.

“The family is in the main building. The guys we want are in the big guesthouse here.”

“They’re not very far apart.”

“Far enough.”

“Anyone in that little building now?”

“Don’t know. Probably not. We haven’t seen anyone since the Pred got capture of the target. But A.Q. uses it when they pass through here, and they pass through here a lot.”

He asks the probability of killing the targets if they use a GBU-12, a powerful 500-pound, laser-guided bomb.

“These guys are sure dead,” comes the reply. “We think the family’s O.K.”

“You think they’re O.K.?”

“They should be.” But the analyst confesses it is impossible to be sure.

“What’s it look like with a couple of Hellfires?” the decision maker asks, referring to smaller weapons carrying 20-pound warheads.

“If we hit the right room in the guesthouse, we’ll get the all bad guys.” But the walls of the house could be thick. The family’s safe, but bad guys might survive.

“Use the Hellfires the way you said,” the decision maker says.

Then a pause.

“Tell me again about these guys.

“Sir, big A.Q. operators. We’ve been trying to track them forever. They’re really careful. They’ve been hard to find. They’re the first team.”

Another pause. A long one.

“Use the GBU. And that small building they sometimes use as a dorm …”

“Yes, sir.”

“After the GBU hits, if military-age males come out …”

“Yes, sir?”

“Kill them.”

Less than an hour later he is briefed again. The two targets are dead. The civilians have fled the compound. All are alive.

Targeted killing using drones has become part of the American way of war. To do it legally and effectively requires detailed and accurate intelligence. It also requires some excruciatingly difficult decisions. The dialogue above, representative of many such missions, shows how hard the commanders and analysts work to get it right.

The longer they have gone on, however, the more controversial drone strikes have become. Critics assert that a high percentage of the people killed in drone strikes are civilians — a claim totally at odds with the intelligence I have reviewed — and that the strikes have turned the Muslim world against the United States, fueling terrorist recruitment. Political elites have joined in, complaining that intelligence agencies have gone too far — until they have felt in danger, when they have complained that the agencies did not go far enough.

The program is not perfect. No military program is. But here is the bottom line: It works. I think it fair to say that the targeted killing program has been the most precise and effective application of firepower in the history of armed conflict. It disrupted terrorist plots and reduced the original Qaeda organization along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to a shell of its former self. And that was well before Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011.

Not many years before, the targeted killings were fairly limited. But by 2008, we knew that the terrorist threat had increased to intolerable levels, both to American forces in South Asia and to the United States itself. From our surveillance platforms, we could observe training camps where men leapt off motorbikes and fired on simulated targets. Early that year, the C.I.A. and I began recommending more aggressive action.

We were confident that the intelligence was good enough to sustain a campaign of very precise attacks. To be sure, it was not, is not, always error-free. In late 2006, for instance, a strike killed a one-legged man we believed was a chieftain in the Haqqani network, a violent and highly effective group allied with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. It turned out that the man was indeed affiliated with the Haqqanis, but he wasn’t the leader we wanted. With all the land mines in the region, there were many one-legged terrorists in South Asia.

I demanded a full explanation for the misidentification. There were no excuses. People were thoroughly, maybe even excessively, contrite.

But even if I was convinced that we could routinely provide high-quality intelligence to enable precision targeting, we still had to convince policy makers in the government that they should take advantage of it.

We had one thing going for us. I got to talk to President George W. Bush directly every week without filters. I briefed him every Thursday morning and began to use the sessions to underscore Al Qaeda’s growing footprint and brazenness in the tribal region of Pakistan. My chief analyst on this, a lanky Notre Dame graduate, met with me almost daily and stressed that as bad as this might be for Afghanistan and our forces there, the threat could also come to our shores.

If we had boiled our briefings down, the essence would have been: “Knowing what we know, there will be no explaining our inaction after the next attack.”

So the United States began to test some limits. In early 2008, a charismatic Qaeda operations chief was killed along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The strike was clean and the target so important that even regional reaction was muted. Local people knew who he was and did not mourn his passing.

Later in the year another senior Qaeda operative, active in planning attacks in the West, was killed along with several lieutenants in a similar strike that resulted in a similar reaction.

By midsummer, when Hellfire missiles killed a senior Qaeda operator who was active in its weapons of mass destruction program, it was clear that the United States had launched a campaign of targeted killings in South Asia.

Publicly available sources document nearly three dozen attacks in the last seven months of the Bush administration, almost three times the total of the previous four years. According to those sources, 18 senior and midlevel Taliban and Qaeda leaders were killed.

The intelligence used for these strikes was based on human reports, surveillance technology and the near unblinking stare of the Predator itself. The strikes were particularly damaging to Al Qaeda’s operational leaders, who couldn’t afford to hunker down like Bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, whose main contribution to the movement was pretty much just staying alive. Those front-line operators had to move and communicate — and that made them vulnerable.

Other attacks were intended to disrupt known Qaeda locations and activities even when the identities of the people present were not known. Critics said these so-called signature strikes were indiscriminate. They were not. Intelligence for signature strikes always had multiple threads and deep history. The data was near encyclopedic.

Many such strikes killed high-value targets whose presence was suspected but not certain. And we made no excuses about killing lower-ranking terrorists. The United States viewed these attacks as legitimate acts of war against an armed enemy — and in warfare it is regrettably necessary to kill foot soldiers, too.

The signature strikes drastically shrank the enemy’s bench and made the leadership worry that they had no safe havens. Almost inadvertently, these strikes also helped protect intelligence sources and methods since the strikes seemed more random than they actually were.

It wasn’t long before intelligence reporting began to confirm our success. We learned there was a widespread sense of helplessness among the Qaeda leadership. Years later, documents proved just how anguished they were.

In 2015, an American court case against a Qaeda member prompted the government to release eight documents from the trove of Bin Laden letters captured when he was killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011. Bin Laden’s correspondence with his chief lieutenants, in 2010, is remarkable in its candor.

The letters show the stress within the organization. “I convey my condolences regarding our great brother Sheikh Sa’id” who died “as a martyr during a spy plane attack,” read one from June 2010.

“The strikes by the spy planes are still going on,” it continued. A member named al-Sa’di Ihsanullah was the “latest to become a martyr: He was killed about a week ago, also by air raids.” It noted, “The midlevel commands and staff members are hurt by the killings.”

Signature strikes were also taking a toll. In November, the same Bin Laden lieutenant complained, after 20 fighters were killed in one place on Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim feast celebrating the end of Ramadan, that the men had “gathered for the holidays, despite our orders.”

Al Qaeda gained a healthy respect for American intelligence. “Based on our analysis, they are constantly monitoring several potential or possibly confirmed targets,” the June letter said.

The frightened underlings in the field beseeched Bin Laden to help. “We would like your guidance,” the June letter said. “Especially on this idea: reduce the work, meaning stopping many of the operations so we can move around less, and be less exposed to strikes.”

“There is an idea preferred by some brothers to avoid attrition,” it continued. “The idea is that some brothers will travel to some ‘safe’ areas with their families, just for protection. They would only stay for a time, until the crisis is over, maybe one or two years.”

Two months later another Bin Laden deputy agreed to their taking refuge and “calming down and minimizing movement.”

All this correspondence was from 2010, but it is consistent with the intelligence picture we were gathering in 2008. Al Qaeda along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border was spending more time worrying about its own survival than planning how to threaten ours.

The correspondence also confirmed our intelligence showing that attacking Americans on American soil was central to their plotting.

The letters are filled with references to recruits from a host of countries, including the United States. One correspondence emphasized that “operations inside America are some of the most important work of the Organization, as long as they are possible, because they affect the security and economy of the American people as a whole.”

Throughout the campaign, civilian casualties were a constant concern. In one strike, the grandson of the target was sleeping near him on a cot outside, trying to keep cool in the summer heat. The Hellfire missiles were directed so that their energy and fragments splayed away from him and toward his grandfather. They did, but not enough.

The target was hard to locate and people were risking their lives to find him. The United States took the shot. A child died, and we deeply regret that he did. But his grandfather had a garage full of dangerous chemicals, and he intended to use them, perhaps on Americans.We tried to get better. Carefully reviewing video of one successful strike, we could discern — as a GBU was already hurtling toward an arms cache — a frightened woman responding to another weapon that had just detonated. She was running with young children square into the path of the incoming bomb, and they were killed. We realized, once our after-action review was done, that we needed to put even more eyes on targets as they were being struck to try to avoid any future civilian casualties.

For my part, the United States needs not only to maintain this capacity, but also to be willing to use it. Radical Islamism thrives in many corners of the world — Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Mali, the list goes on — where governments cannot or will not act. In some of these instances, the United States must.

And unmanned aerial vehicles carrying precision weapons and guided by powerful intelligence offer a proportional and discriminating response when response is necessary. Civilians have died, but in my firm opinion, the death toll from terrorist attacks would have been much higher if we had not taken action.

What we need here is a dial, not a switch.

Michael V. Hayden, a retired Air Force four-star general, was director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2009.


Surveillance Drones


Surveillance drones or unmanned aerial systems (UASs) raise significant issues for privacy and civil liberties. Drones are capable highly advanced surveillance, and drones already in use by law enforcement can carry various types of equipment including live-feed video cameras, infrared cameras, heat sensors, and radar. Some military versions can stay in air the hours for hours or days at a time, and their high-tech cameras can scan entire cities, or alternatively, zoom in and read a milk carton from 60,000 feet. They can also carry wifi crackers and fake cell phone towers that can determine your location or intercept your texts and phone calls. Drone manufacturers even admit they are made to carry “less lethal” weapons such as tasers or rubber bullets.

Thanks to a provision in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, drones use in the United States is set to expand rapidly over the next few years. The Act includes provisions to make the licensing process easier and quicker for law enforcement, and by 2015, commercial entities will also be able to apply for a drone authorization.

In January 2012, EFF sued the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under the Freedom of Information Act to determine which public and private entities had applied for authorization to fly drones. In response to the lawsuit, the FAA has released lists of the 60 public entities and 12 private drone manufacturers that have sought permission to fly drones in the US. The agency has also released several thousand pages of records related to the entities’ drone license applications.

The FAA has yet to provide information on how these drones will be used. EFF has also partnered with MuckRock, the open government organization, to conduct a “drone census” with the goal of determining just that. We have provided an easy-to-use form that ordinary citizens can use to file a public records request with their local police agency to ask what type of surveillance the agency plans to conduct with drones, if any, and what type of privacy protections it is providing its citizens.

Privacy law has not kept up with the rapid pace of drone technology, and police may believe they can use drones to spy on citizens with no warrant or legal process whatsoever. Several bills are currently going through Congress, which attempt to provide privacy protections to Americans who may be caught up in drone surveillance. As the numbers of entities authorized to fly drones accelerates in the coming years—the FAA estimates as many as 30,000 drones could be flying in US skies by 2020—EFF will continue to push for transparency in the drone authorization process and work to ensure the privacy of all Americans is protected.


The Rapid Rise of Federal Surveillance Drones Over America

An alphabet soup’s worth of government agencies are exercising their ability to look down on ordinary citizens.

March 10, 2016

by Conor Friedersdorf

The Atlantic

A little more than a decade ago the border patrol started using surveillance drones. The technology and the mission were a perfect match, and few did any  worrying—almost no one objects to closely monitoring America’s southern border.The belief that the federal government was using drones to conduct domestic surveillance inside the United States, though, could get a person labeled a paranoid lunatic as recently as 2012. Yet by then, the border patrol had lent its drones to other agencies 700 times. And the Department of Homeland Security was actively developing a domestic drone fleet, egged on by at least 60 members of Congress. “This bipartisan caucus, together with its allies in the drone industry, has been promoting UAV use at home and abroad through drone fairs on Capitol Hill, new legislation and drone-favored budgets,” the Center for International Policy reported.

In 2013, Senator Dianne Feinstein, a staunch defender of NSA surveillance, declared that drones are “the biggest threat to privacy in society today.” Under her questioning, the FBI admitted to using surveillance drones in “a very minimal way.”

What did Feinstein know that the FBI wasn’t telling us? Perhaps that the federal government gave local police departments $1.2 million to spend on drones that year.

In 2015, NBC News reported that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms spent $600,000 on six drones, “then never flew them because of technical problems with flight time, maneuverability and more.” Has ATF figured them out yet?

AP reported that the DEA was using drones domestically, too.

That brings us to 2016.

On Wednesday, USA Today reported that the Pentagon “has deployed drones to spy over U.S. territory for non-military missions over the past decade,” citing a report by a Pentagon inspector general who declared that the flights are “rare and lawful.”

That’s the narrative that officials speaking on behalf of the federal government keep conveying––that the instances of aerial surveillance over U.S. soil are safe, legal, and rare.

But it isn’t so.

There are too many federal, state, and local agencies with too many surveillance aircraft to pretend any longer that aerial spying is rare. There is too little oversight to presume all these government entities are acting legally. As for safety, Americans know neither what sort of aerial-surveillance data has been archived nor how secure it is. And security researcher Nils Rodday learned that he could successfully hack into professional drones and take over their operations on a $40 budget.

The ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation are trying to draw attention to these issues; the Department of Justice has issued its own guidelines on domestic drone use. But there’s still not much public discussion, debate, or oversight of domestic drone surveillance.

My sense of public opinion is that Americans don’t particularly want to be spied on from above. By keeping various aerial-surveillance programs hidden or very quiet, the government will continue to achieve a rapid fait accompli unless it is stopped.


Conversations with the Crow

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal , Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment. Three months before, July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.           After Corson’s death, Trento and his Washington lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever

After Crowley’s death and Trento’s raid on the Crowley files, huge gaps were subsequently discovered by horrified CIA officials and when Crowley’s friends mentioned Gregory Douglas, it was discovered that Crowley’s son had shipped two large boxes to Douglas. No one knew their contents but because Douglas was viewed as an uncontrollable loose cannon who had done considerable damage to the CIA’s reputation by his on-going publication of the history of Gestapo-Mueller, they bent every effort both to identify the missing files and make some effort to retrieve them before Douglas made any use of them.

Douglas had been in close contact with Crowley and had long phone conversations with him. He found this so interesting and informative that he taped and later transcribed them.

These conversations have been published in a book: ‘Conversations with the Crow” and this is an excerpt.




Conversation No. 22

Date: Friday, July 5, 1996

Commenced:   1:45 PM CST

Concluded:   2:10 PM CST

GD: Did you have a safe Fourth, Robert?

RTC: Oh my, yes, Gregory. I was out in the street firing off rockets at passing police cars. And you?

GD: No, I stayed inside. Little children setting the garage on fire with Grandma tied up inside or shooting bottle rockets into gas tanker trucks on the freeway. Plastic surgeons must have loved the Glorious Fourth back when we had real firecrackers to fire off. Missing eyes, fingers and other body parts. Terrified and singed cats and dogs, not to mention grass fires and burning shake roofs. I can just see you firing off rockets into passing cop cars, Robert. With your training and previous employment, no doubt the rockets blew the occupants into bloody cat meat.

RTC: Such an outburst of rage, Gregory.

GD: I am a man of sorrows and acquainted with rage, Robert. How about the Company setting off a small A-bomb in some hitherto harmless country and blaming it on mice?

RTC: Now that’s something we never did. In fact, we prevented at least one nuclear disaster.

GD: What? A humanitarian act? Why, I am astounded, Robert. Do tell me about this.

RTC: Now, now, Gregory, sometimes we can discuss serious business. There were times when we prevented terrible catastrophes and tried to secure more peace. We had trouble, you know, with India back in the 60s when they got uppity and started work on an atomic bomb. Loud mouthed cow-lovers bragging about how clever they were and how they, too, were going to be a great power in the world. The thing is, they were getting into bed with the Russians. Of course, Pakistan was in bed with the chinks, so India had to find another bed partner. And we did not want them to have any kind of nuclear weaponry because God knows what they would have done with it. Probably strut their stuff like a Washington nigger with a brass watch. Probably nuke the Pakis. They’re all a bunch of neo-coons anyway. Oh, yes, and their head expert was fully capable of building a bomb and we knew just what he was up to. He was warned several times but what an arrogant prick that one was. Told our people to fuck off and then made it clear that no one would stop him and India from getting nuclear parity with the big boys. Loudmouths bring it all down on themselves. Do you know about any of this?

GD: Not my area of interest or expertise. Who is this joker, anyway?

RTC: Was, Gregory, let’s use the past tense, if you please. Name was Homi Bhabha. That one was dangerous, believe me. He had an unfortunate accident. He was flying to Vienna to stir up more trouble, when his 707 had a bomb go off in the cargo hold and they all came down on a high mountain way up in the Alps. No real evidence and the world was much safer.

GD: Was Ali Baba alone on the plane?

RTC: No it was a commercial Air India flight.

GD: How many people went down with him?

RTC: Ah, who knows and frankly, who cares?

GD: I suppose if I had a relative on the flight I would care.

RTC: Did you?

GD: No.

RTC: Then don’t worry about it. We could have blown it up over Vienna but we decided the high mountains were much better for the bits and pieces to come down on. I think a possible death or two among mountain goats is much preferable than bringing down a huge plane right over a big city.

GD: I think that there were more than goats, Robert.

RTC: Well, aren’t we being a bleeding-heart today?

GD: Now, now, it’s not an observation that is unexpected. Why not send him a box of poisoned candy? Shoot him in the street? Blow up his car? I mean, why ace a whole plane full of people?

RTC: Well, I call it as it see it. At the time, it was our best shot. And we nailed Shastri as well. Another cow-loving raghead. Gregory, you say you don’t know about these people. Believe me, they were close to getting a bomb and so what if they nuked their deadly Paki enemies? So what? Too many people in both countries. Breed like rabbits and full of snake-worshipping twits. I don’t for the life of me see what the Brits wanted in India. And then threaten us? They were in the sack with the Russians, I told you. Maybe they could nuke the Panama Canal or Los Angeles. We don’t know that for sure, but it is not impossible.

GD: Who was Shastri?

RTC: A political type who started the program in the first place. Babha was a genius and he could get things done, so we aced both of them. And we let certain people there know that there was more where that came from. We should have hit the chinks, too, while we were at it, but they were a tougher target. Did I tell you about the idea to wipe out Asia’s rice crops? We developed a disease that would have wiped rice off the map there and it’s their staple diet. The fucking rice growers here got wind of it and raised such a stink we canned the whole thing. The theory was that the disease could spread around and hurt their pocketbooks. If the Mao people invade Alaska, we can tell the rice people it’s all their fault.

GD: I suppose we might make friends with them.

RTC: With the likes of them? Not at all, Gregory. The only thing the Communists understand is brute force. India was quieter after Bhabha croaked. We could never get to Mao but at one time, the Russians and we were discussing the how and when of the project. Oh yes, sometimes we do business with the other side. Probably more than you realize.

GD: Now that I know about. High level amorality. They want secrets from us and you give them some of them in return for some of their secrets, doctored, of course. That way, both agencies get credit for being clever.

RTC: Well, you’ve been in that game, so why be so holy over a bunch of dead ragheads?

GD: Were all the passengers Indian atomic scientists?

RTC: Who cares, Gregory? We got the main man and that was all that mattered. You ought not criticize when you don’t have the whole story.

GD: Well, there were too many mountain goats running around, anyway. They might have gotten their hands on some weapons from Atwood and invaded Switzerland.

RTC: You jest but there is truth in what you say. We had such a weight on us, protecting the American people, often from themselves I admit. Many of these stories can never be written, Gregory. And if you try, you had better get your wife to start your car in the morning.

GD: How about my mother-in-law, Robert? Now do you see why Kimmel doesn’t want me talking to you? It isn’t that he’s afraid you might talk to me; I think he’s afraid I might corrupt you with my evil designs.

RTC: Tom means well but he’s dumb as a post. Most of the FBI are keyhole peepers at heart and should keep the hell out of espionage. Yes, Tom thinks I am getting senile and you are persuading me to give up state secrets. I may be old and I do forget names sometimes but I am not gaga yet, not by a long shot, and I’ve done a lot more important things than Tom ever did chasing car thieves and people dragging whores over state lines to a cheap motel.

GD: I don’t think you’re crazy, Robert and, you know, I once discussed you with him. He wanted to know what you were talking about with me and I told him we were discussing stamp collecting. He was not happy with this. I know he views me as a terrible person, but I can’t help that. He said you weren’t the person you used to be and I said who was? I asked him if he was better or worse that he had been at twenty and he got mad at me. Self-righteous, Robert, self-righteous.

RTC: Well, you certainly aren’t that, Gregory.

GD: Well, you’re not crazy and I’m not wicked. I am right, aren’t I? Please tell me I’m right, Robert. I’ll cry myself to sleep if you don’t

RTC: (Laughter) You’re a truly bad person, Gregory.

GD: I know. I told Jesus that last night when we were playing poker. He keeps hiding cards in that hole in his side.

RTC: Tell that to the Pope.

GD: We don’t get along anymore since I ran over his cat.


(Concluded at 2:10 PM CST)


Belgian nuclear guard shot and security access badge stolen: media

March 26, 2016


Brussels-Two days after bomb attacks at Brussels airport and on a packed metro killed 31 people and injured hundreds, a security guard who worked at a Belgian nuclear plant was murdered and his pass was stolen, Belgian media reported on Saturday.

The French language Derniere Heure (DH) newspaper reported the security guard’s badge was de-activated as soon as it was discovered he had been shot dead in the Charleroi region of Belgium and his badge stolen.

A police spokeswoman said she could not comment because an investigation was ongoing.

In a nation on high alert following this week’s attacks, the report stokes fears about the possibility militants are seeking to get hold of nuclear material or planning to attack a nuclear site.

On Thursday, DH had reported the suicide bombers who blew themselves up on Tuesday originally considered targeting a nuclear site, but a series of arrests of suspect militants forced them to speed up their plans and instead switch focus to the Belgian capital.

Late last year, investigators found a video tracking the movements of a man linked to the country’s nuclear industry during a search of a flat as part of investigations into the Islamist militant attack on Paris on Nov. 13 that killed 130 people.

The video, lasting several hours, showed footage of the entrance to a home in northern Belgium and the arrival and departure of the director of Belgium’s nuclear research program.

(Reporting by Barbara Lewis and Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Mark Potter)


EU counterterror chief warns of cyberattack threat to Belgium’s nuclear plants

Belgium’s major infrastructure, including nuclear plants, could soon come under cyberattack, the EU’s counterterrorism coordinator has said. The warning comes with reports of the murder of a Belgian nuclear plant guard.

March 26, 2016


Belgium’s network of nuclear power stations, as well as energy and transport infrastructure, could become the targets of cyberattacks by terrorists in the near future, EU counterterrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove said in an interview published on Saturday.

“I would not be surprised if there was an attempt in the next five years to use the Internet to commit an attack,” de Kerchove told the daily “La Libre Belgique.”

He said such an attack would involve terrorists hacking into online computer systems that controlled facilities such as a nuclear power plant, a dam, an air traffic control center or a railroad switching station.

His warning comes as Belgium remains on high alert following Tuesday’s suicide bombings in the capital, Brussel, in which 31 people were killed and some 300 injured at the airport and on a metro train.

Activists in Belgium and the country’s neighbors, including Germany, have expressed concerns about security and safety at Belgian nuclear facilities for some time. The plants have experienced a number of problems recently, including an unsolved sabotage incident.

Nuclear guard shot

Fears of possible terrorist attacks on plants have been further stoked by reports that a security guard at a Belgian nuclear power station was murdered on Thursday and his access badge stolen.

The “Derniere Heure” newspaper reported on Saturday that the guard had been shot dead in the Charleroi region, south of Brussels. It said the man’s badge was de-activated as soon as his murder was discovered. Officials have yet to comment on the incident.

On Thursday, the paper reported that Tuesday’s attackers had originally considered targeting a nuclear site, but that they abandoned the plan and switched to Brussels after police arrested a number of suspected militants, forcing them to accelerate their actions.

Last year, investigators discovered surveillance footage of a Belgian nuclear plant official in the flat of a suspect connected both to the Brussels attacks and those in Paris on November 13 last year.


‘Terrorist flow to Europe is Turkish policy’ & ‘SAS in Libya’ – Jordanian king’s US briefing leaked

March 25, 2016


The UK has covertly deployed special forces in Libya, Israel is turning a blind eye to Al-Nusra, and Turkey wants radical Islamists to prevail in the Middle East and go to Europe, are the shocking insights King Abdullah of Jordan confidentially shared with US lawmakers.

The leader of the Middle Eastern state, who has been in power since 1999, gave this frank regional assessment to congressional leaders, including John McCain and Paul Ryan, in a closed-door meeting during his visit to the US back in January. Minutes from the briefing have now been obtained by the Guardian via an unsanctioned leak.

In the most substantive revelation, the royal said that Jordanian special forces operating in Libya had been embedded with a more sizeable British SAS contingent to help them overcome cultural barriers, including understanding “Jordanian slang [which] is similar to Libyan slang.”

The UK Foreign Office does not comment on the whereabouts of the elite SAS and other special forces as a matter of policy.

The security intelligence agency Stratfor had already alleged the UK’s involvement earlier this month, saying that SAS units had been “escorting MI6 teams to meet with Libyan officials about supplying weapons and training to the Syrian army and to militias against the Islamic State. The British air force bases Sentinel aircraft in Cyprus for surveillance missions around [ISIS-controlled Libyan city of] Sirte as well.”

However, David Cameron has refused to provide any information on this even to closed parliamentary committees, saying earlier this week that the SAS is already “subject to international law as everyone else is in our country but I do not propose to change the arrangements under which these incredibly brave men work.”

Officially, Britain will station 1,000 troops to help train locals in Libya and aid its teetering government in the near future, but so far none have supposedly been sent to the country, which has been in the grip of an ethnic and sectarian war since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The Prime Minister’s office has refused to answer press calls concerning the latest leaks, The Guardian says.

Other statements made by the 54-year-old King Abdullah are more gossipy, but indicative of deep rifts between the US and Saudi-headed coalitions tasked with eliminating Islamic State and restoring the rule of law to the region.

Abdullah said that Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan “believes in a radical Islamic solution to the problems in the region.” He went on to say that “that terrorists are going to Europe is part of Turkish policy, and Turkey keeps getting a slap on the hand, but they get off the hook.”

Israel is accused of “looking the other way” when it comes to Al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra, which controls large swathes of land in Syria including territory on the Israeli border, because the group is “an opposition to Hezbollah,” the Iranian-funded Lebanese militia fighting for President Bashar Assad in the Syrian conflict. There have previously been accusations in the media claiming that Israel was even giving medical treatment to al-Nusra fighters before sending them back out on the battlefield, and that a direct communication link had been established between the Israeli army and the terrorist group. The IDF has always denied these allegations, however.

King Abdullah’s biggest warning came regarding al-Shabaab, an east African jihadist group with a lower profile than ISIS, Boko Haram and others, but which has begun to “feed into Libya.”

“Jordan is looking at al-Shabaab because no one was really looking at the issue, and we cannot separate this issue, and the need to look at all the hotspots in the map. We have a rapid deployment force that will stand with the British and Kenya and is ready to go over the border into Somalia,” he told congressmen.

The Jordanian embassies in the US and UK have refused to verify the claims, while one congressman has admitted to the Guardian that the briefing did happen, but would not authenticate its talking points.


Highlighting Western Victims While Ignoring Victims of Western Violence

March 25, 2016

by Glenn Greenwald

The Intercept

For days now, American cable news has broadcast non-stop coverage of the horrific attack in Brussels. Viewers repeatedly heard from witnesses and from the wounded. Video was shown in a loop of the terror and panic when the bombs exploded. Networks dispatched their TV stars to Brussels, where they remain. NPR profiled the lives of several of the airport victims. CNN showed a moving interview with a wounded, bandage-wrapped Mormon American teenager speaking from his Belgium hospital bed.

All of that is how it should be: That’s news. And it’s important to understand on a visceral level the human cost from this type of violence. But that’s also the same reason it’s so unjustifiable, and so propagandistic, that this type of coverage is accorded only to Western victims of violence, but almost never to the non-Western victims of the West’s own violence.

A little more than a week ago, as Mohammed Ali Kalfood reported in The Intercept, “Fighter jets from a Saudi-led [U.S. and U.K.-supported] coalition bombed a market in Mastaba, in Yemen’s northern province of Hajjah. The latest count indicates that about 120 people were killed, including more than 20 children, and 80 were wounded in the strikes.” Kalfood interviewed 21-year-old Yemeni Khaled Hassan Mohammadi, who said, “We saw airstrikes on a market last Ramadan, not far from here, but this attack was the deadliest.” Over the past several years, the U.S. has launched hideous civilian-slaughtering strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Libya, and Iraq. Last July, The Intercept published a photo essay by Alex Potter of Yemeni victims of one of 2015’s deadliest Saudi-led, U.S.- and U.K.-armed strikes.

You’ll almost never hear any of those victims’ names on CNN, NPR, or most other large U.S. media outlets. No famous American TV correspondents will be sent to the places where those people have their lives ended by the bombs of the U.S. and its allies. At most, you’ll hear small, clinical news stories briefly and coldly describing what happened — usually accompanied by a justifying claim from U.S. officials, uncritically conveyed, about why the bombing was noble — but, even in those rare cases where such attacks are covered at all, everything will be avoided that would cause you to have any visceral or emotional connection to the victims. You’ll never know anything about them — not even their names, let alone hear about their extinguished life aspirations or hear from their grieving survivors — and will therefore have no ability to feel anything for them. As a result, their existence will barely register.

That’s by design. It’s because U.S. media outlets love to dramatize and endlessly highlight Western victims of violence, while rendering almost completely invisible the victims of their own side’s violence.

Perhaps you think there are good — or at least understandable — reasons to explain this discrepancy in coverage. Maybe you believe humans naturally pay more attention to, and empathize more with, the suffering of those they regard as more similar to them. Or you may want to argue that victims in cities commonly visited by American elites (Paris, Brussels, London, Madrid) are somehow more newsworthy than those in places rarely visited (Mastaba, in Yemen’s northern province of Hajjah). Or perhaps you’re sympathetic to the claim that it’s easier for CNN or NBC News to send on-air correspondents to glittery Western European capitals than to Waziristan or Kunduz. Undoubtedly, many believe that the West’s violence is morally superior because it only kills civilians by accident and not on purpose.

But regardless of the rationale for this media discrepancy, the distortive impact is the same: By endlessly focusing on and dramatizing Western victims of violence while ignoring the victims of the West’s own violence, the impression is continually bolstered that only They, but not We, engage in violence that kills innocent people. We are always the victims and never the perpetrators (and thus Good and Blameless); They are only the perpetrators and never the victims (and thus Villainous and Culpable). In April 2003, Ashleigh Banfield, then a rising war-correspondent star at MSNBC, returned from Iraq, gave a speech critiquing the one-sided, embedded U.S. media coverage of the war, and was shortly thereafter demoted and then fired. This is part of what she said:

That said, what didn’t you see? You didn’t see where those bullets landed. You didn’t see what happened when the mortar landed. A puff of smoke is not what a mortar looks like when it explodes, believe me. There are horrors that were completely left out of this war. … It was a glorious, wonderful picture that had a lot of people watching and a lot of advertisers excited about cable news. But it wasn’t journalism, because I’m not so sure that we in America are hesitant to do this again, to fight another war, because it looked like a glorious and courageous and so successful, terrific endeavor, and we got rid of horrible leader: We got rid of a dictator, we got rid of a monster, but we didn’t see what it took to do that. …

I think there were a lot of dissenting voices before this war about the horrors of war, but I’m very concerned about this three-week TV show and how it may have changed people’s opinions. It was very sanitized. … War is ugly and it’s dangerous, and in this world, the way we are discussed on the Arab street, it feeds and fuels their hatred and their desire to kill themselves to take out Americans.

In other words, the death, carnage, and destruction the U.S. invasion was causing was generating huge amounts of anti-American hatred and a desire to bring violence to Americans, even if meant sacrificing lives to accomplish that. But the U.S. media never showed any of that, so Americans had no idea it existed, and were thus incapable of understanding why people were eager to do violence to Americans. They therefore assumed that it must be because they are primitive or inherently hateful or driven by some inscrutable religious fervor.

That’s because the U.S. media, by showing only one side of the conflict, by presenting only the nationalistic viewpoint, propagandized — deceived — American viewers by making them more ignorant rather than more enlightened. As a result, when the trains of London and Madrid were attacked in 2004 and 2005 as retaliation for those countries’ participation in the invasion of Iraq, that causal connection (which even British intelligence acknowledged) was virtually never discussed because Western media outlets ensured it was unknown. The same was true of attempted attacks on the U.S.: in Times Square, the New York City subway system, an airliner over Detroit, all motivated by rage over Western violence. In the absence of any media discussion of those victims and motives, these attacks were was simply denounced as senseless, indiscriminate slaughter without any cause, and people were thus deprived of the ability to understand why they happened.

That’s exactly what’s happening still. Because I was traveling in the U.S. this week, I was subjected to literally dozens of hours of cable and network news coverage of the Brussels attacks. The most minute angles of the attack were dissected. But there was not one moment devoted to the question of why Belgium — and the U.S., France, and Russia before it — were targeted by ISIS (as opposed to a whole slew of non-Muslim, democratic countries around the world that ISIS doesn’t target), even though ISIS explicitly stated the reason and it is, in any event, self-evident: because those countries have been bombing ISIS in Syria and Iraq and these bombings were intended as retaliation and vengeance. Nor was there any discussion of why ISIS seems to have little trouble attracting support among some in Western countries: As even a Rumsfeld-commissioned study found in 2004, it is in large part because of widespread anger among Muslims over ongoing Western violence and interference in that part of the world.

The point, as always, isn’t justification: It is always morally unjustified to deliberately target civilians with violence (see the update here on that point). Nor does it prove that the bombing of ISIS in Iraq and Syria is unjustified or should cease. The point, instead, is that the war framework in which much of this violence takes place — one side that declares itself at war and uses violence as part of that war is inevitably attacked by the other side that it targets — is completely suppressed by one-sided media coverage that prefers a self-flattering, tribalistic cartoon narrative.

The ultimate media taboo is self-examination: the question of whether there are actions we take that exacerbate the problem we say we are trying to resolve. Such a process would not dilute the evil of ISIS’s civilian-targeting violence, but it would enable a more honest and complete understanding of the role Western governments’ policies play and the inevitable costs they entail. Perhaps those costs are worth enduring, but that question can only be rationally answered if the costs are openly discussed.

But whatever else is true, if we are constantly bombarded with images and stories and dramatic narratives highlighting our own side’s victims, while the victims of our side’s violence are rendered invisible, it’s only natural that large numbers of us will conclude that only They, but not We, are committing civilian-killing violence. That’s a really pleasing thing to believe, no matter how false it is. Having media outlets perpetrate self-pleasing and tribal-affirming — but utterly false — narratives is the very definition of propaganda. And that’s what largely drives Western media coverage of these terrorist attacks every time they occur in the West.


Islamic State dealt hefty body blow with death of top aide: officials

March 26, 2016

by Maher Chmaytelli, Isabel Coles and Stephen Kalin


Baghdad-Islamic State will struggle to recover from the death of a top aide, reported this week in a U.S. air strike, whose overview of the group’s finances, politics and administration was unmatched, Iraqi and U.S. sources said.

Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli, also known as Haji Iman and Abu Alaa al-Afri, was a veteran jihadist with a bounty of $7 million on his head.

That was second only to the $10 million offered for Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and accurately reflected his importance to the group.

“This is the heaviest blow to Islamic State in terms of assassinations because Qaduli was at the heart of (its) …administrative structure,” said Hisham al-Hashimi, an analyst who advises the Iraqi government on the militants.

“Baghdadi can’t replace Haji Iman with a person of equivalent value. He will have to appoint three people to fill the vacuum… That reduces (Baghdadi’s)… efficiency and leaves him more exposed to danger than before.”

As well as heading the Shura council that advises Baghdadi, Qaduli was governor of the Syrian provinces and the group’s financial comptroller, Hashimi said.

His death, and just before him that of war minister Abu Omar al-Shishani and the capture of an unidentified chemical weapons operative, “show that the United States has sources of information close to their top command level,” the analyst added.

U.S. officials say Islamic State is losing a battle to forces arrayed against it from many sides in the vast region it controls. The jihadist fighters were on the retreat this week in the strategic Syrian city of Palmyra.

In Iraq, the group has been pulling back since December when it lost Ramadi, the capital of the western province of Anbar. The Baghdad government is hoping this year to recapture Mosul, the largest city in northern Iraq, seized by the militants nearly two years ago.

“The loss of Haji Iman will be massive. Although (Islamic State) … has a strong system in place to replace key leaders it still takes time to readjust,” said Ranj Talabany, an official from the Kurdish Zanyari intelligence agency.

“He was fully aware of their finances, and key leadership decisions were made with Haji Iman being consulted.”


Unlike many Islamic State commanders, Qaduli came from Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda rather than the dissolved Baath party of Saddam Hussein, who was toppled by a U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

He was arrested several times under Saddam because of his extremist religions opinions and went to Afghanistan in 1998, where he met bin Laden, Hashimi said.

Bin Laden wanted him to take over command of the group’s Iraq franchise in 2010. But Baghdadi, already settled in as the local commander, turned against al Qaeda in 2013 and declared himself caliph a year later, winning the backing of Qaduli, Hashimi said.

“He is considered the group’s top civilian administrator,” he added, with duties under Baghdadi including the deportation of religious and ethnic minorities and the organized rape of Yazidi women.

The commander expected to replace Qaduli as Syria governor is the group’s spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, who has a $5 million bounty on his head, Hashimi said.

Its likely new financial comptroller is Iyad al-Obaidi, also known as Fadel Haifa, a security officer under Saddam who took over the role of war minister after Shishani was killed, according to Hashimi.

Abdallah al-Khatouni, the group’s head of justice, may become chairman of the Shura council, he added.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Friday said Qaduli was likely killed this week in an offensive targeting Islamic State’s financial operations.

Carter said Qaduli had played a role in recruiting foreign fighters, but could not confirm he had anything to do with Tuesday’s bombings in Brussels.

U.S. Army Col. Steve Warren, Baghdad-based spokesman for an international coalition battling Islamic State, said Qaduli was also providing finances and counsel on launching attacks in the West, adding: “He had been an international terrorist for more than a decade. His experience and knowledge will be missed by (IS).”

(editing by John Stonestreet)


Jihad Background

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

The usual translation of jihad as ‘holy war’ is misleading; ‘exertion ‘or ‘struggle’ is more accurate: “A general injunction to strive in the way of God” (Albert Hourani: A History of the Arab Peoples, Faber and Faber, 1992)

As a movement for the establishment of Muslim governance, Islamic radicalism was born in the 1920s with the creation of an organization of Egyptian origin known as the Muslim Brotherhood. From the outset, Islamic radicalism opposed not only colonialism, but also Western modernism and non-Islamic Arab governments. The radicalization process intensified with the formation of the State of Israel and the movement itself gradually internationalized, facilitated by the emergence of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the Gulf War, to the point of reaching its current dynamism.

Individually considered, the aggregations of greater relevance today are Hizballah or Party of God, Shia, Egyptian, and pro-Iranian, operational since the 1980s; Hamas or Islamic Resistance Movement and Palestine Islamic Jihad, both Sunni, operating in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank since the late 1980s the former and since the late 1970s the latter; the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), Sunni and Algerian, in existence since the early 1990s, and it spin-off, Salafi Group for Call and Combat; al-Jihad or Holy War and al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya or Islamic Group, both Sunni and Egyptian, formed in the late 1970s; the Abu Sayyaf Group, Sunni and southern Filipino, a spin-off of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front since 1991; Harakat ul-Mujahidin or Movement of Islamic Fighters, Jaish-e-Mohammed or Army of Mohamed, and Lashkar-e-Tayyba or Army of the Righteous, all three Sunni, Pakistani and active primarily in the Kashmir area claimed by both Pakistan and India; and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a coalition of Islamic militants from Uzbekistan and other Central Asian states.

Besides aiming at the creation of an Islamic theocratic government in their own country or even in their geopolitical area, all of the above-listed aggregations share one or more of the following characteristics: a dual structure, overt, on the one hand, for political action, religious ministry, proselytizing, fundraising, and social assistance, and covert, on the other hand, for terrorist initiatives; hatred for Israel; the presence of representative organs abroad; terrorist action beyond their own national boundaries; and holy war without quarter against the infidel at the universal level. Some of these groups have enjoyed or still enjoy to this day forms of support from sponsor states governed by either theocratic or secular regimes. Iran has been supporting Hizballah, Hamas, and Palestine Islamic Jihad and is accused by Egypt of supporting also Holy War and the Islamic Group.

According to press sources, Libya has paid ransom to the Abu Sayyaf Group, thus encouraging it to commit further abductions of Western citizens. Sudan has granted asylum to Holy War, the Islamic Group, Hamas, and Palestine Islamic Jihad, which exploited it as an operational base. Moreover, Algeria has charged Sudan with supporting the GIA. Syria has been assisting on its own territory Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad and allows them, as well as Hizballah, to use the Bekaa Valley in Lebanese territory. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan avails itself of the Iranian radio system to broadcast propaganda. India accuses Pakistan of assisting Islamic terrorist organizations that operate in Kashmir.

Other forms of assistance, primarily financial, issue from private benefactors aware or unaware of supporting domestic and international terrorism, given the dual structure utilized by several of these groups, which, thanks precisely to their dual structure, respond to a socio-economic void unfilled by government or society in many Third World countries. This aspect increases popular following and the relative danger posed by Islamic radicalism.

The most radical Islamic activists, in order to wage holy war against the infidel, have given birth to an international network, not to be confused with the mild concept of ummah that unites the Muslim faithful in the conviction of belonging all to one nation, that is, the nation of Islam. The internationalization of Islamic radicalism draws its origins from the Afghani resistance against the Soviet Union, followed by a further resistance conceived as a struggle against the American and Western occupation of the holiest places of Islam and against West-ern polluting of the Islamic world, nefariously allowed by local regimes viewed as corrupt.

In this context, a series of well- known events has taken place: the constitution in the late 1980s of al-Qaida, or The Base, as an umbrella for coordinating, training and supporting various subordinate, semi-autonomous, and autonomous organizations dedicated to holy war at the global level; the training in Afghanistan of approximately 11,000 militants, who subsequently either fought in Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, and Dagestan or returned to their respective countries to conduct an internal struggle or took up residence in the West to set up operational and logistical cells; the issuance of numerous anti-Western fat-was or religious decrees, among which stands out the one of February 1998 undersigned by representatives of al-Qaida, Holy War (Egypt), Islamic Group (Egypt), Jamat-ul-Ulema (Pakistan), and Jihad Movement (Bangladesh), in which all Muslims are called upon to kill Americans and their allies, civilians as well as military, wherever possible; the creation of the World Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders; the fine tuning, until the recent Western military intervention in Afghanistan, of a triad consisting of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida, and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan; and about twenty anti-Western terrorist attacks that culminated in the destruction of the Twin Towers and part of the Pentagon.

The purposes and the objectives of Islamic radicalism are clearly defined in a document found in England in May 2000 and titled Military Studies in the Jihad Against the Tyrants, which states in part: The main mission is the overthrow of the godless regimes and their replacement with an Islamic regime.

The Al Qaeda Manual

The attached manual was located by the Manchester (England) Metropolitan Police during a search of an al Qaeda member’s home. The manual was found in a computer file described as “the military series” related to the “Declaration of Jihad.” The manual was translated into English and was introduced earlier this year at the embassy bombing trial in New York.



To those champions who avowed the truth day and night……And wrote with their blood and sufferings these phrases…

-*-The confrontation that we are calling for with the apostate regimes does not know Socratic debates…, Platonic ideals…, nor Aristotelian diplomacy. But it knows the dialogue of bullets, the ideals of assassination, bombing, and destruction, and the diplomacy of the cannon and machine-gun.

***… Islamic governments have never and will never be established through peaceful solutions and cooperative councils. They are established as they [always] have been

by pen and gun

by word and bullet

by tongue and teeth

In the name of Allah, the merciful and compassionate

Belongs to the guest house

Please do not remove it from the house except with permission.


Pledge, O Sister

To the sister believer whose clothes the criminals have stripped off.

To the sister believer whose hair the oppressors have shaved.

To the sister believer who’s body has been abused by the human dogs.

To the sister believer whose…

Pledge, O Sister

Covenant, O Sister…to make their women widows and their children orphans.

Covenant, O Sister…to make them desire death and hate appointments and prestige.

Covenant, O Sister… to slaughter them like lambs and let the Nile, al-Asi, and Euphrates rivers flow with their blood.

Covenant, O Sister… to be a pick of destruction for every godless and apostate regime.

Covenant, O Sister… to retaliate for you against every dog who touch you even with a bad word.


In the name of Allah, the merciful and compassionate

Thanks be to Allah. We thank him, turn to him, ask his forgiveness, and seek refuge in him from our wicked souls and bad deeds. Whomever Allah enlightens will not be misguided, and the deceiver will never be guided. I declare that there is no god but Allah alone; he has no partners. I also declare that Mohammed is his servant and prophet.

[Koranic verses]:

ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam” “O mankind! Fear your guardian lord who created you from a single person. Created, out of it, his mate, and from them twain scattered [like seeds] countless men and women; fear Allah, through whom ye demand your mutual [rights], and be heedful of the wombs [that bore you]: for Allah ever watches over you.”

“0 ye who believe! Fear Allah, and make your utterance straight forward: That he may make your conduct whole and sound and forgive you your sins. He that obeys Allah and his messenger, has already attained the great victory.”

Afterward, The most truthful saying is the book of Allah and the best guidance is that of Mohammed, God bless and keep him. [Therefore,] the worst thing is to introduce something new, for every novelty is an act of heresy and each heresy is a deception.



Martyrs were killed, women were widowed, children were orphaned, men were handcuffed, chaste women’s heads were shaved, harlots’ heads were crowned, atrocities were inflicted on the innocent, gifts were given to the wicked, virgins were raped on the prostitution alter…

After the fall of our orthodox caliphates on March 3, 1924 and after expelling the colonialists, our Islamic nation was afflicted with apostate rulers who took over in the Moslem nation. These .rulers turned out to be more infidel and criminal than the colonialists themselves. Moslems have endured all kinds of harm, oppression, and torture at their hands.

Those apostate rulers threw thousands of the Haraka Al Islamyia (Islamic Movement) youth in gloomy jails and detention centers that were equipped with the most modern torture devices and [manned with] experts in oppression and torture. Those youth had refused to move in the rulers’ orbit, obscure matters to the youth, and oppose the idea of rebelling against the rulers. But they [the rulers] did not stop there; they started to fragment the essence of the Islamic nation by trying to eradicate its Moslem identity. Thus, they started spreading godless and atheistic views among the youth. We found some that claimed that socialism was from Islam, democracy was the [religious] council, and the prophet-God bless and keep him-propagandized communism.

Colonialism and its followers, the apostate rulers, then started to openly erect crusader centers, societies, and organizations like Masonic Lodges, Lions and Rotary clubs, and foreign schools.

They aimed at producing a wasted generation that pursued everything that is western and produced rulers, ministers, leaders, physicians, engineers, businessmen, politicians, journalists, and information specialists. [Koranic verse:] “And

Allah’s enemies plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah.”


They [the rulers] tried, using every means and [kind of] seduction, to produce a generation of young men that did not know [anything] except what they [the rulers] want, did not say except what they [the rulers] think about, did not live except according to their [the rulers’) way, and did not dress except in their [the rulers’] clothes. However, majestic Allah turned their deception back on them, as a large group of those young men who were raised by them [the rulers] woke up from their sleep and returned to Allah, regretting and repenting. The young men returning to Allah realized that Islam is not just

performing rituals but a complete system: Religion and government, worship and Jihad [holy war], ethics and dealing with people, and the Koran and sword. The bitter situation that the nation has reached is a result of its divergence from Allah’s course and his righteous law for all places and times. That [bitter situation] came about as a result of its children’s love for the world, their loathing of death, and their abandonment of Jihad [holy war].

Unbelief is still the same. It pushed Abou Jahl-may Allah curse him-and Kureish’s valiant infidels to battle the prophet -God bless and keep him -and to torture his companions -may Allah’s grace be on them. It is the same unbelief that drove Sadat, Hosni Mubarak, Gadhafi, Hafez Assad, Saleh, Fahed -Allah’s curse be upon the non-believing leaders -and all the apostate Arab rulers to torture, kill, imprison, and torment Moslems.

These young men realized that an Islamic government would never be established except by the bomb and rifle. Islam does not coincide or make a truce with unbelief, but rather confronts it.

The confrontation that Islam calls for with these godless and apostate regimes, does not know Socratic debates, Platonic ideals nor Aristotelian diplomacy. But it knows the dialogue of bullets, the ideals of assassination, bombing, and destruction, and the diplomacy of the cannon and machine-gun.

The young came to prepare themselves for Jihad [holy war], commanded by the majestic Allah’s order in the holy Koran. [Koranic verse:] “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (thehearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies, and others besides whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know.”


I present this humble effort to these young Moslem men who are pure, believing, and fighting for the cause of Allah. It is my contribution toward paving the road that leads to majestic Allah and establishes a caliphate according to the prophecy.

According to Imam Ahmad’s account, the prophet -God bless and keep him -said,…

[A few lines of Hadith verses, not translated]





5-We cannot resist this state of ignorance unless we unite our ranks, and adhere to our religion. Without that, the establishment of religion would be a dream or illusion that is impassible to achieve or even imagine its achievement. Sheik Ibn Taimia -may Allah have mercy on him -said, “The interests of all Adam’s children would not be realized in the present life, nor in the next, except through assembly, cooperation, and mutual assistance. Cooperation is for achieving their interests and mutual assistance is for overcoming their adversities. That is why it has been said, ‘man is civilized by nature.’ Therefore, if they unite there will be favorable matters that they do, and corrupting matters to avoid. They will be obedient to the commandment of those goals and avoidant of those immoralities. It is necessary that all Adam’s children obey. “He [Sheik Inb Taimia] then says, “It should be understood that governing the people’s affairs is one of the greatest religious obligations. In fact, without it, religion and world [affairs] could not be established. The interests of Adam’s children would not be achieved except in assembly, because of their mutual need. When they assemble, it is necessary to [have] a leader. Allah’s prophet -God bless and keep him -even said, ‘If three [people] come together let them pick a leader.’ He then necessitated the rule by one of a small, non-essential travel assembly in order to draw attention to the remaining types of assembly. Since Allah has obligated us to do good and avoid the unlawful, that would not be done except through force and lording. Likewise, the rest of what he [God] obligated [us with] would not be accomplished except by force and lordship, be it Jihad [holy war], justice, pilgrimage, assembly, holidays, support of the oppressed, or the establishment of boundaries. That is why it has been said, “the sultan is Allah’s shadow on earth.'”


The book “Tharwat Al-Sinam Fe Al-Ta’at wa Al-Nizam,” byIbrahim Al-Masri, copying from Al-Fannawi Ibn Taimi’s collection, 28-380.


Principles of Military Organization:

Military Organization has three main principles without which it cannot be established.

  1. Military Organization commander and advisory council
  2. The soldiers (individual members)
  3. A clearly defined strategy

Military Organization Requirements:

The Military Organization dictates a number of requirements to assist it in confrontation and endurance. These are:

  1. Forged documents and counterfeit currency
  2. Apartments and hiding places
  3. Communication means
  4. Transportation means
  5. Information
  6. Arms and ammunition
  7. Transport

Missions Required of the Military Organization:

The main mission for which the Military Organization is responsible is:

The overthrow of the godless regimes and their replacement with an Islamic regime. Other missions consist of the following:

  1. Gathering information about the enemy, the land, the installations, and the neighbors.
  2. Kidnaping enemy personnel, documents, secrets, and arms.
  3. Assassinating enemy personnel as well as foreign tourists.
  4. Freeing the brothers who are captured by the enemy.
  5. Spreading rumors and writing statements that instigate people against the enemy.
  6. Blasting and destroying the places of amusement, immorality, and sin; not a vital target.
  7. Blasting and destroying the embassies and attacking vital economic centers.
  8. Blasting and destroying bridges leading into and out of the cities.


Importance of the Military Organization:

  1. Removal of those personalities that block the call’s path.

[A different handwriting:] All types of military and civilian intellectuals and thinkers for the state.

  1. Proper utilization of the individuals’ unused capabilities.
  2. Precision in performing tasks, and using collective views on completing a job from all aspects, not just one.
  3. Controlling the work and not fragmenting it or deviating from it.
  4. Achieving long-term goals such as the establishment of an Islamic state and short-term goals such as operations against enemy individuals and sectors.
  5. Establishing the conditions for possible confrontation with the regressive regimes and their persistence.
  6. Achieving discipline in secrecy and through tasks.





Necessary Qualifications fro the Organization’s members


The member of the Organization must be Moslem. How can an unbeliever, someone from a revealed religion [Christian, Jew], a secular person, a communist, etc. protect Islam and Moslems and defend their goals and secrets when he does not believe in that religion [Islam]? The Israeli Army requires that a fighter be of the Jewish religion. Likewise, the command leadership in the Afghan and Russian armies requires any one with an officer’s position to be a member of the communist party.

2-Commitment to the Organization’s Ideology:

This commitment frees the Organization’s members from conceptional problems.

3-Maturity: The requirements of military work are numerous, and a minor cannot perform them. The nature of hard and continuous work in dangerous conditions requires a great deal of psychological, mental, and intellectual fitness, which are not usually found in a minor. It is reported that Ibn Omar -may Allah be pleased with him -said, “During Ahad [battle] when I was fourteen years of age, I was submitted [as a volunteer] to the prophet -God bless and keep him. He refused me and did not throw me in the battle. During Khandak [trench] Day [battle] when I was fifteen years of age, I was also submitted to him, and he permitted me [to fight].


He [the member] has to be willing to do the work and undergo martyrdom for the purpose of achieving the goal and establishing the religion of majestic Allah on earth.

5-Listening and Obedience: In the military, this is known today as discipline. It is expressed by how the member obeys the orders given to him.

That is what our religion urges. The Glorious says, “O, yewho believe! Obey Allah and obey the messenger and those charged with authority among you.” In the story of Hazifa Ben Al-Yaman -may Allah have mercy on him -who was exemplary in his obedience to Allah’s messenger -Allah bless and keep him. When he [Mohammed] -Allah bless and keep him -sent him to spy on the Kureish and their allies during their siege of Madina, Hazifa said, “As he [Mohammed] called me by name to stand, he said, ‘Go get me information about those people and do not alarm them about me.’


As I departed, I saw Abou Soufian and I placed an arrow in the bow. I [then] remembered the words of the messenger -Allah bless and keep him -‘do not alarm them about me.’ If I had shot I would have hit him.”

6-Keeping Secrets and Concealing Information [This secrecy should be used] even with the closest people, or deceiving the enemies is not easy. Allah says, “Even though their plots were such that as to shake the hills! [Koranic verse].” Allah’s messenger -God bless and keep him -says, “Seek Allah’s help in doing your affairs in secrecy.” It was said in the proverbs, “The hearts of freemen are the tombs of secrets” and “Moslems’ secrecy is faithfulness, and talking about it is faithlessness.” [Mohammed]

-God bless and keep him -used to keep work secrets from the closest people, even from his wife A’isha-may Allah’s grace be on her.

  1. Free of Illness the Military Organization’s member must fulfill this important requirement. Allah says, “There is no blame for those who are infirm, or ill, or who have no resources to spend.”
  2. Patience

[The member] should have plenty of patience for [enduring] afflictions if he is overcome by the enemies. Be should not abandon this great path and sell himself and his religion to the enemies for his freedom. He should be patient in performing the work, even if it lasts a long time.

  1. Tranquility and “Unflappability”[The member] should have a calm personality that allows him to endure psychological traumas such as those involving bloodshed, murder, arrest, imprisonment, and reverse psychological traumas such as killing one or all of his Organization’s comrades. [He should be able] to carry out the work.
  2. Intelligence and Insight

When the prophet -Allah bless and keep him -sent Hazifa Ben Al-Yaman to spy on the polytheist and [Hafiza] sat among them, Abou Soufian said, “Let each one of you look at his companion.” Hazifa said to his companion, ‘Who are you?” The companion replied, “So-and-so son of so-and-so.”


In World War I, the German spy, Julius Seelber [PH] managed to enter Britain and work as a mail examiner due to the many languages he had mastered. From the letters, he succeeded in obtaining important information and sent it to the Germans. One of the letters that he checked was from a lady who had written to her brother’s friend in the fleet. She mentioned that her brother used to live with her until he was transferred to a secret project that involved commercial ships. When Seelber read that letter, he wentto meet that young woman and blamed her for her loose tongue in talking about military secrets. He, skillfully, managed to draw out of her that her brother worked in a secret project for arming old commercial ships. These ships were to be used as decoys in the submarine war in such a way that they could come close to the submarines, as they appeared innocent. Suddenly, cannonballs would be fired from the ships’s hidden cannons on top of the ships, which would destroy the submarines. 48 hours later that secret was handed to the Germans.

  1. Caution and Prudence

In his battle against the king of Tomedia [PHI,the Roman general Speer [PH]sent an emissary to discuss with that king the matter of truce between the two armies. In

reality, he had sent him to learn about the Tomedians’ ability to fight. The general picked, Lilius [PH], one of his top commanders, for that task and sent with him some of his officers, disguised as slaves. During that mission, one of the king’s officers, Sifax [PH] pointed to one of the [disguised] slaves and yelled, “That slave is a Roman officer I had met in a neighboring city. He was wearing a Roman uniform.” At that point, Lilius used a clever trick and managed to divert the attention of the Tomedians from that by turning to the disguised officer and quickly slapping him on the face a number of times. He reprimanded him for wearing a Roman officer’s uniform when he was a slave and for claiming a status that he did not deserve.


The officer accepted the slaps quietly. He bowed his head in humility and shame, as slaves do. Thus, Sifax men thought that officer was really a slave because they could not imagine that a Roman officer would accept these hits without defending himself.

King Sifax prepared a big feast for Lilius and his entourage and placed them in a house far away from his camp so they could not learn about his fortifications. They[the Romans] made another clever trick on top of the first one. They freed one of their horses and started chasing him in and around the camp. After they learned about the extent of the fortifications they caught the horse and, as planned, managed to abort their mission about the truce agreement. Shortly after their return, the Roman general attacked King Sifax’ camp and burned the fortifications. Sifax was forced to seek reconciliation.

  1. There was a secret agent who disguised himself as an American fur merchant. As the agent was playing cards aboard a boat with some passengers, one of the players asked him about his profession. He replied that he was a “fur merchant.” The women showed interest [in him] and began asking the agent -the disguised fur merchant –many questions about the types and prices of fur. He mentioned fur price figures that amazed the women. They started avoiding and regarding him with suspicion, as though he were a thief, or crazy.
  2. Truthfulness and Counsel The Commander of the faithful, Omar Ibn Al-Khattab –may Allah be pleased with him -asserted that this characteristic was vital in those who gather information and work as spies against the Moslems’ enemies. He [Omar] sent a letter to Saad Ibn Abou Wakkas -may Allah be pleased with him -saying, “If you step foot on your enemies’ land, get spies on them. Choose those whom you count on for their truthfulness and advice, whether Arabs or inhabitants of that land. Liars’ accounts would not benefit you, even if some of them were true; the deceiver is a spy against you and not for you.


  1. Ability to Observe and Analyze The Israeli Mossad received news that some Palestinians were going to attack an Israeli El Al airplane. That plane was going to Rome with Golda Meir -Allah’s curse upon her -the Prime Minister at the time, on board. The Palestinians had managed to use a clever trick that allowed them to wait for the arrival of the plane without being questioned by anyone. They had beaten a man who sold potatoes, kidnaped him, and hidden him. They made two holes in the top of that peddler’s cart and placed two tubes next to the chimney through which two Russian-made “Strella” [PH]missiles could be launched. The Mossad officers traveled the airport back and forth looking for that lead them to the Palestinians. One officer passed the potato cart twice without noticing anything. On his third time, he noticed three chimneys, but only one of them was working with spoke coming out of it. He quickly steered toward the cart and hit it hard. The cart overturned, and the Palestinians were captured.’
  2. Ability to Act, Change Positions and Conceal Oneself
  3. [An example] is what Noaim Ibn Masoud had done in his mission to cause agitation among the tribes of Koraish, those of Ghatfan, and the Jews of Koreitha. He would control his reactions and managed to skillfully play his role. Without showing signs of inconsistency, he would show his interest and zeal towards the Jews one time and show his concern about the Koraish at another.
  4. In 1960, a car driven by an American colonel collided with a truck. The colonel lost consciousness, and while unconscious at the hospital, he started speaking Russian
  5. This story is found in the book A’n Tarik Al-Khida’ “By Way of Deception Methods,” by Victor Ostrovsky [PH]. The author claims that the Mossad wants to kill him for writing that book. However, I believe that the book was authorized by the Israeli



fluently. It was later discovered that the colonel was Soviet spy who was planted in the United States. He had fought in Korea in order to conceal his true identity and to gather information and critical secrets. If not for the collision, no one would have suspected or confronted him.





Financial Security Precautions:

  1. Dividing operational funds into two parts: One part is to be invested in projects that offer financial return, and the other is to be saved and not spent except during


  1. Not placing operational funds [all] in one place.
  2. Not telling the Organization members about the location of the funds.
  3. Having proper protection while carrying large amounts of money.
  4. Leaving the money with non-members and spending it as needed.

Forged Documents (Identity Cards, Records Books, Passports)

The following security precautions should be taken:

  1. Keeping the passport in a safe place so it would not be seized by the security apparatus, and the brother it belongs to would have to negotiate its return (I’ll give you your passport if you give me information)
  2. All documents of the undercover brother, such as identity cards and passport, should be falsified.
  3. When the undercover brother is traveling with a certain identity card or passport, he should know all pertinent[information] such as the name, profession, and place of residence.
  4. The brother who has special work status (commander, communication link,…) should have more than one identity card and passport. He should learn the contents of each, the nature of the [indicated] profession, and the dialect of the residence area listed in the document.
  5. The photograph of the brother in these documents should be without a beard. It is preferable that the brother’s public photograph [on these documents] be also without a beard. If he already has one [document] showing a photograph with a beard, he should replace it.
  6. When using an identity document in different names, no more than one such document should be carried at one time.


  1. The validity of the falsified travel documents should always be confirmed.
  2. All falsification matters should be carried out through the command and not haphazardly (procedure control)
  3. Married brothers should not add their wives to their passports.
  4. When a brother is carrying the forged passport of a certain country, he should not travel to that country. It is easy to detect forgery at the airport, and the dialect of the brother is different from that of the people from that country.

Security Precautions Related to the Organizations’ Given Names:

  1. The name given by the Organization [to the brother] should not be odd in comparison with other names used around him.
  2. A brother should not have more than one name in the area where he lives {the undercover work place)







Definition of Bases:

* These are apartments, hiding places, command centers, etc. in which secret operations are executed against the enemy.

These bases may be in cities, and are [then] called homes or apartments. They may be in mountainous, harsh terrain far from the enemy, and are [then] called hiding places or bases.

During the initial stages, the Military Organization usually uses apartments in cities as places for launching assigned missions, such as collecting information, observing members of the ruling regime, etc.

Hiding places and bases in mountains and harsh terrain are used at later stages, from which Jihad [holy war] groups are dispatched to execute assassination operations of enemy individuals, bomb their centers, and capture their weapons. In some Arab countries such as Egypt, where there are no mountains or harsh terrain, all stages of Jihad work would take place in cities. The opposite was true in Afghanistan, where initially Jihad work was in the cities, then the warriors shifted to mountains and harsh terrain. There, they started battling the Communists.

Security Precautions Related to Apartments:

  1. Choosing the apartment carefully as far as the location, the size for the work necessary (meetings, storage, arms, fugitives, work preparation).
  2. It is preferable to rent apartments on the ground floor to facilitate escape and digging of trenches.
  3. Preparing secret locations in the apartment for securing documents, records, arms, and other important items.
  4. Preparing ways of vacating the apartment in case of a surprise attack (stands, wooden ladders).


  1. Under no circumstances should any one know about the apartment except those who use it.
  2. Providing the necessary cover for the people who frequent the apartment (students, workers, employees, etc.)
  3. Avoiding seclusion and isolation from the population and refraining from going to the apartment at suspicious times.
  4. It is preferable to rent these apartments using false names, appropriate cover, and non-Moslem appearance.
  5. A single brother should not rent more than one apartment in the same area, from the same agent, or using the same rental office.
  6. Care should be exercised not to rent apartments that are known to the security apparatus [such as] those used for immoral or prior Jihad activities.
  7. Avoiding police stations and government buildings. Apartments should not be rented near those places.
  8. When renting these apartments, one should avoid isolated or deserted locations so the enemy would not be able to catch those living there easily.
  9. It is preferable to rent apartments in newly developed areas where people do not know one another. Usually, in older quarters people know one another and strangers are easily identified, especially since these quarters have many informers.
  10. Ensuring that there is has been no surveillance prior to the members entering the apartment.
  11. Agreement among those living in the apartment on special ways of knocking on the door and special signs prior to entry into the building’s main gate to indicate to those who wish to enter that the place is safe and not being monitored. Such signs include hanging out a towel, opening a curtain, placing a cushion in a special way, etc.


  1. If there is a telephone in the apartment, calls should be answered in an agreed-upon manner among those who use the apartment. That would prevent mistakes that would, otherwise, lead to revealing the names and nature of the occupants.
  2. For apartments, replacing the locks and keys with new ones. As for the other entities (camps, shops, mosques), appropriate security precautions should be taken depending on the entity’s importance and role in the work.
  3. Apartments used for undercover work should not be visible from higher apartments in order not to expose the nature of the work.
  4. In a newer apartment, avoid talking loud because prefabricated ceilings and walls [used in the apartments] do not have the same thickness as those in old ones.
  5. It is necessary to have at hand documents supporting the undercover [member]. In the case of a physician, there should be an actual medical diploma, membership in the [medical] union, the government permit, and the rest of the

routine procedures known in that country.

  1. The cover should blend well [with the environment]. For example, selecting a doctor’s clinic in an area where there are clinics, or in a location suitable for it.
  2. The cover of those who frequent the location should match the cover of that location. For example, a common laborer should not enter a fancy hotel because that would be suspicious and draw attention.

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 1921however, 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 clientele.

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 state along 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

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.

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)










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