A report entitled “Freedom of Speech in Jihad Analysis: Debunking the Myth of Offensive Words” written by unnamed civilian analysts and contractors for the US Central Command has said that words like ‘jihad’ and ‘Islamist’ are needed in discussing 21st century terrorism issues.
The report added that federal agencies which avoid such words are “soft-pedaling” the link between religious extremism and violent acts. The report is quoted as saying: “We must reject the notion that Islam and Arabic stand apart as bodies of knowledge that cannot be critiqued or discussed as elements of understanding our enemies in this conflict.”
The report counters a January 2008 memorandum from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, which recommended avoiding using such terms as “jihadist,” “Islamic terrorist,” “Islamist,” or “holy war” saying that such terminology would create a negative climate and spawn acts of discrimination and harassment.
Psychologists in the Prison Service will try to ‘cure’ extremist Muslim inmates of their political beliefs with controversial therapies similar to those used to ‘de-programme’ members of religious cults.
The experimental treatments are being developed by a special Extremism Unit set up by the Ministry of Justice in January last year, The Mail on Sunday has discovered. Sources say the therapy forms part of a wide-ranging strategy to combat Islamic extremism in Britain’s jails. There are 90 Muslim prisoners serving time for terrorist offences, and the Ministry fears that, if left unchallenged, their violent, jihadist interpretation of Islam will spread. About 11 per cent of prisoners are Muslim – three-and-a-half times the proportion in the UK population. In maximum security ‘Category A’ jails such as Whitemoor in Cambridgeshire – the subject today of an exclusive report in Live magazine based on unprecedented access to both prisoners and staff – they make up 35 per cent of the inmates, and have converted numerous other prisoners to Islam. In Whitemoor the 150 Muslim inmates include 39 who have converted in the jail since early last year. In some cases, officers believe converts have been subjected to bullying and changed their faith because they felt vulnerable. A Ministry source said that to be a Muslim in jail was now seen as ‘cool’, and while Muslim prisoners once felt isolated and vulnerable, they were now ‘flexing their muscles’. This made it all the more important to ensure that extremist views did not spread. David Rose reports.
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The New York Time discusses the increasing use of technology, specifically the internet, in organizing terror interest. The article follows a 48-year-old Belgian woman named Malika El Aroud, who posts on the internet under the pseudonym Oum Obeyda, who while she does not disseminate instructions on how to make bombs nor intends to take part in violence herself, post encourages and bullies Muslim men to fight. Ms. El Aroud calls herself a female holy warrior for Al Qaeda, preferring to use the power of writing rather than weapons as an internet jihadist. She, along with her husband, were convicted in Switzerland of operating pro-Qaeda web sites, but is currently a suspect In what Belgian authorities say they believe is a plot to carry out terror attacks in Belgium.
The Crown has dropped charges against four adult suspects in the 2006 Toronto terrorism case. All four men signed peace bonds with curfew and passport conditions; indictments against them were then stayed. Three of the suspects admitted to attending an alleged terrorist training camp which ran from December 18 – 31, 2005. All disagreed with the Crown assessment that it was a jihadist exercise. The Crown had recently made public a videotaped speech from the camp where a ringleader urged members to band together and fight for Islam. Defense lawyers argued the exercise was amateurish and that many arrived to the camp unaware of its true purpose.
In the northern city of Vitoria, Spanish police arrested three people suspected of trying to promote radical Islam on Thursday. According to police, the three distributed CD’s and MP3 files calling for a jihad or holy war among the city’s Muslim population. The group had allegedly been distributing the recordings before their computers, hard drives, MP3 players and CD’s were seized. Police began investigating the Vitoria group in December, and moved to arrest the three following an order from Spain’s High Court.
MIAMI – Jose Padilla, the Brooklyn-born convert to Islam whom the government once accused of plotting to detonate a dirty bomb in the United States, was sentenced on Tuesday to 17 years and 4 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to help Islamic jihadist fighters abroad. The sentence was more lenient than the federal sentencing guidelines recommended and was a setback for the government, which had requested life in prison, the maximum.
The Muslim community of Ca_ada Real Galiana denied that an emerging jihadist feeling is taking place among the community, as a result of the demolishing of an illegal house in October. The spokesman of the Islamic Center of Madrid said that anyone who commits a crime must be judged, but if nothing illegal has been done, care must be taken so as to not damage the trust between Spainards and Muslims further. Members of the community assert that any violence occurring is not the result of Islam or a Muslim, but only a terrorist – because Islam does not allow for revenge.
The recent start of a trial of six men accused of recruiting terrorists has put Belgian’s Muslim population in the spotlight. Worried that the country is emerging as a jihadist hub for terrorist attacks in Iraq, many Belgians blame the country’s open-door immigration policy, and hand-off approach concerning the construction of mosques in Belgium. In a country on the verge of a split, a growing fear about immigrants and Muslims seems to be a unifying position for a sizable portion of the population. However, others blame the rise of terror recruitment no on Belgium’s multiculturalism, but the country’s failure to successfully implement working integration model.
Six men were arrested on October 23, 2007 in Toulouse (Lot), presumably affiliated to a jihadist network recruiting men to go to Iraq. The men were between 25 to 45 years old and are now in the custody of authorities. One of them is accused of training for combat members of the same network who had been arrested last February in Ari_ge and Toulouse.
A Moroccan-born Dane was sentenced in Copenhagen to 3 1/2 years in prison on charges of inciting Muslims to holy war using videotapes, CDs and DVDs that included footage of beheadings in the Russian republic of Chechnya. Said Mansur was convicted of producing and distributing material containing “inflammatory, jihadist speeches” under anti-terrorism laws introduced after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.