Dutch Newspaper Interviews “Jihadists” in Syria

syria netherlands c de VolkskrantJune 16 2013

 

The Dutch newspaper Volkskrant has published an email interview with an individual using the name Abu Fidaa, claiming to be fighting with rebel forces in Syria. In the email interview Fidaa writes that he and his fellow fighters estimate there are 100 to 150 Dutch youths in Syria. Two Dutch fighters have died so far, he writes.

Fidaa denies that youths are being recruited against their will, and refuses to say which group the Dutch men are fighting with for “security reasons”. “What use are young men who don’t want to fight?… If youngsters are being recruited it is by the west thanks to its barbaric wars in Muslim countries. The years of images we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan have planted a longing for jihad in our hearts.”

Netherlands Most Likely EU Country to Grant Asylum Seekers Residency

24 May 2013

The Netherlands is more likely to give asylum seekers residency papers than the rest of the European Union, according to the head of the Dutch immigration service. In 2012, 13,650 people applied for asylum in the Netherlands, a drop of almost 7% on 2011. The reduction was particularly apparent in the first half. At the same time, the number of people making a second application rose 26%.

Most applicants came from Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.

The number of requests for naturalisation rose almost 10% compared with 2011 to almost 29,000.

Boston Suspect Reportedly Left Note Saying Bombing Was Retribution For Afghanistan, Iraq Wars

On Thursday, CBS News’ John Miller reported that one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, left a note in the boat he was hiding in during the manhunt after the attack. In it, Tsarnaev reportedly wrote the attack was motivated by the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, where many Muslims have been collateral damage.

Miller reported that the Tsarnaev claimed responsibility for the attack in the note, which he wrote on the interior wall of the boat.

The note, scrawled with a pen on the interior wall of the cabin, said the bombings were retribution for U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, and called the Boston victims collateral damage in the same way Muslims have been in the American-led wars. “When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims,” the note added.
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Miller’s sources say the wall the note was written on was riddled with bullet holes from shots fired into the boat. The shots were fired after Dzhokhar came up through the tarp covering the boat amid police fears that he had another bomb.

3 Simple Charts That Explain What Muslims Believe

The Pew Forum recently released a 226-page report exploring opinions and beliefs from Muslim communities around the world. The survey, which was conducted through more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews in more than 80 languages, delves into the Muslim world’s insights on everything from Sharia law to alcohol consumption. The findings were simple: Just as all religions, Islam is subjective in many ways and the few who interpret it in a radical and dangerous way are in no way indicative of the overwhelming majority who don’t.

 

The first finding — and one that intrigues the Western world the most — is that the majority of Muslims want to implement sharia law, but almost no one was in consensus as to what exactly sharia means.

Support for sharia is highest in Afghanistan, where 99% of the people support sharia. The Palestinian territories, Malaysia, Niger, and Pakistan follow Afghanistan, also holding a high preference for sharia law. Central Asia and Europe, on the other hand, rank amongst the lowest for support for sharia.

But, before all the Islamophobes get up in arms about how Sharia law is taking over the world, Pew notes that there is little agreement even within the Muslim world as to what Sharia law actually is. There is a major split, for example, amongst Muslims as to whether or not corporal punishment is acceptable — religiously, legally and socially – for issues such as adultery, divorce, and thievery. And the reason for that is simple. As Wajahat Ali explains in his article,Understanding Sharia Law, Sharia is neither static nor is it easily defined.

It is open to interpretation in terms of serving as a moral compass, and is largely concerned with religious duties such as praying and fasting, and, most importantly, ensures a welfare state. Because of this, he says, “Any observant Muslim would consider him or herself a sharia adherent. It is impossible to find a Muslim who practices any ritual and does not believe himself or herself to be complying with Sharia.”

 

In the end, it is clear that Islam is practiced differently with different cultural contexts throughout the world — a clear indication that, just as with all religions, Islam is subjective and can be interpreted very differently by everyone.

Gov’t doesn’t fight order letting American Taliban fighter Lindh pray daily with other inmates

INDIANAPOLIS — A federal prison in Indiana on Wednesday was expected to begin allowing American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh and other Muslim inmates housed in his tightly controlled unit to start holding daily ritual group prayers.

The government had until Tuesday to appeal U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson’s Jan. 11 ruling allowing the daily group prayers, but it didn’t. Magnus-Stinson found that a prison policy preventing Lindh and the other Muslims in his unit from praying together daily when not locked in their cells violated a 1993 law banning the government from curtailing religious speech without showing a compelling interest.

She said her ruling didn’t prohibit less restrictive security measures in the Communications Management Unit, which houses terrorists and other inmates the government doesn’t want freely communicating with the outside world.

Ken Falk, the legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which represented Lindh in a lawsuit challenging the prison policy, said Wednesday afternoon he didn’t yet know if the prison had started allowing the prayers. Officials at the prison didn’t return phone calls from The Associated Press seeking that same information.

Lindh is serving a 20-year sentence for aiding the Taliban during the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. He was captured by U.S. troops that year, and in 2002 pleaded guilty to supplying services and carrying explosives for the now-defunct Taliban government. He is eligible for release in 2019.

Raised Catholic, the California native was 12 when he saw the movie “Malcolm X” and became interested in Islam. He converted at age 16. Walker told Newsweek after his capture that he had entered Afghanistan to help the Taliban build a “pure Islamic state.”

Lindh joined the prayer lawsuit in 2010, three years after being sent to the prison near the border between Indiana and Illinois. The suit was originally filed in 2009 by two Muslim inmates in the unit, but it got far more attention when Lindh joined the case. The other plaintiffs later dropped out as they were released or transferred from the prison.

Marine pleads guilty to urinating on corpse of Taliban fighter in Afghanistan, other charges

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — A Marine who pleaded guilty Wednesday to urinating on the corpse of a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan will likely be demoted one rank under a plea agreement, although a military judge called for a much harsher sentence.

Staff Sgt. Edward W. Deptola pleaded guilty to multiple charges at court-martial, including that of violating orders by desecrating remains and posing for photographs with the corpses; and dereliction of duty by failing to properly supervise junior Marines.

The judge, Lt. Col. Nicole Hudspeth, said she would have sentenced him to six months confinement, a $5,000 fine, demotion to private and a bad-conduct discharge. But she is bound by terms of the plea agreement the sergeant reached with military prosecutors. A general will review the sentence and could choose to lower it.

Deptola and another Marine based at Camp LeJeune were charged last year after a video surfaced showing four Marines in full combat gear urinating on the bodies of three Afghans in July 2011. In the video, one of the Marines looked down at the bodies and quipped, “Have a good day, buddy.”

Deptola’s defense attorney, Maj. Tracey Holtshirley, called the case a “lynching” by the news media and general public for an isolated mistake by a well-regarded Marine. He argued Deptola had already been punished enough by the attention and being removed from his platoon. He said he should be demoted two ranks to corporal.

Other Marines involved have received lesser sentences. Staff Sgt. Joseph W. Chamblin pleaded guilty to similar charges last month. Under a deal reached before his court-martial, he lost $500 in pay and was reduced in rank to sergeant. Three other Marines were given administrative punishments for their roles.

3 California men plead not guilty in terror plot case; ringleader returned from Afghanistan

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A man suspected of being the ringleader of a plot to kill Americans and bomb U.S. military bases overseas has been returned from Afghanistan, authorities said Wednesday.

American Sohiel Omar Kabir, 34, made his first court appearance Tuesday in the U.S. after he was captured by U.S. special forces in Afghanistan last month, said his attorney, Deputy Federal Public Defender Jeffrey Aaron.

Kabir has not yet entered a plea after being charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. He is being held without bond and scheduled to appear in court Dec. 11.

Meanwhile, Ralph Deleon and Arifeen Gojail, both 21, and Miguel Santana Vidriales, 23, pleaded not guilty Wednesday after being indicted on the same charge.

If convicted, each of the four defendants could face up to 15 years in prison.

Deleon, Vidriales and Gojali were arrested as they waited to board a plane headed for Istanbul on their way to Afghanistan to meet with Kabir, authorities said.

Kabir, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan, served in the Air Force from 2000 to 2001 and introduced Deleon and Santana to radical Islamic doctrine, investigators said. Gojali, also a U.S. citizen, was recruited in late September.

Experts who study homegrown terrorism said the case highlights the susceptibility to radicalization of new converts to Islam, particularly among the young.

California terror suspects’ recent conversion could have played a role in radicalization

UPLAND, Calif. — Three of the young men swept up in a federal terrorism probe grew up in the Southern California suburbs where they played pick-up basketball, ran for homecoming court and sparred in video games with neighborhood kids — a far cry from the wannabe terrorists described by the FBI.

Two of the men converted to Islam less than two years ago and the third, an American-born Vietnamese Muslim, drifted into their orbit as recently as September after a game of paintball. He also is an unemployed high school dropout and new father.

The rapid evolution from suburban teen to aspiring jihadist alleged in court documents blindsided family members, but experts who study homegrown terrorism said the case highlights the susceptibility of new converts to radicalization, particularly among the young.

Two of the members of what the FBI called an extremist network — Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales, 21, and Ralph Deleon, 23 — converted after meeting Sohiel Omar Kabir in an Ontario, Calif., hookah bar. The naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan introduced them to the radical Islamist doctrine of the U.S.-born extremist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed last year in an American airstrike in Yemen, according to court files unsealed this week.

Kabir, 34, later returned to Afghanistan but continued to give direction to the Southern California men on Skype. He was taken into custody last weekend.

All four men are facing charges of providing material support to terrorists, which can carry a maximum 15-year prison sentence.

Authorities won’t say how the investigation began, but at least two members of the group shared their beliefs on Facebook and held Skype phone calls with Kabir — all of which was recorded by an FBI informant or captured by agents monitoring their activity.

Man who used Web site to “warn” ‘South Park’ creators sentenced to nearly 12 years

One of the men who had issued “warnings” to the creators of Comedy Central’s “South Park” back in 2010 — saying they risked death if they showed the prophet Muhammad in a bear costume — has been sentenced to nearly 12 years in prison.

Jesse Curtis Morton founded the now-defunct Revolution Muslim Website which he and another defendant, Zachary Chesser, used to deliver threats against Matt Stone and Trey Parker over their show’s 200th and 201st episodes, in which viewers were led to believe Muhammad was disguised in a bear suit — only it turned out to be Saint Nicholas in the costume

Comedy Central censored the episodes when they were telecast in April of 2010, clumsily wiping out the cartoon bear-suited Santa Claus from its scenes. This, in turn, caused Stone and Parker to issue an angry statement complaining of the censorship, which the Viacom-network did after Chesser and Morton posted that the cartoon satirists would likely be killed for their depiction (or not) of Muhammad.

Prosecutor Gordon Kromberg said Morton’s stiff sentence was necessary because his site inspired a variety of would-be jihadis, including “Jihad Jane” Colleen LaRose; Antonio Benjamin Martinez, who plotted to bomb a military recruiting station; and Jose Pimental, who plotted to assassinate members of the U.S. military returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, the AP added.

Muslim soldier convicted in failed plot to bomb Fort Hood troops in Texas restaurant

A federal jury Thursday convicted Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo, a Muslim soldier, on six charges in connection with his failed plot to blow up a Texas restaurant full of Fort Hood troops, his religious mission to get “justice” for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

“A disaster was averted because somebody picked up the phone and made a call,” prosecutor Mark Frazier told The Associated Press after the trial. “The people who work in businesses like this are vigilant … and risked being embarrassed if their suspicions turned out to be nothing, but that’s what we want people to do.”

Abdo was convicted of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempted murder of U.S. officers or employees, and four counts of possessing a weapon in furtherance of a federal crime of violence. He faces up to life in prison. U.S. District Judge Walter Smith is set to sentence Abdo in July.