Al Qaeda contemplated giving Canadian journalists ‘special media material’ for 10th anniversary

The Toronto Star – May 4, 2012

 

When Al Qaeda contemplated the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, the organization didn’t forget to include Canada in its plans. Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn mused the organization should reach out to a group of 30 to 50 select journalists and writers who would be candidates to receive “special media material” on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

 

It was important, Gadahn stressed to Osama bin Laden and others in January 2011, that Al Qaeda not rely on Jihadi Internet forums, which he said were “repulsive to most of the Muslims,” or Al Jazeera. Instead, Gadahn wrote the group should target journalists in seven countries — the U.K., U.S. and Canada in the west, as well as Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and Yemen. Among the journalists Gadahn favoured were Eric Margolis, a longtime columnist with the Toronto Sun, and Canadian author Gwynne Dyer, a syndicated columnist based in London.

Islamicists planned to kidnap Jewish judge

News agencies – April 3, 2012

 

Preliminary charges are being filed against 13 Islamist radicals in France, a prosecutor announced, saying some had been calling for Muslim Shariah law in the country, doing weapons training and even planning to kidnap a judge. Prosecutor Francois Molins told a news conference the Forsane Alizza group, or Knights of Pride, did physical training in parks and forests, collected weapons and preached hate and violence on their Internet site, showing clips of late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The 13 — among 17 suspects detained in police raids last week — faced preliminary charges of criminal association linked to a terrorist network, a sweeping charge with a maximum 10-year prison term that is used in France to ensure a full investigation of terror suspects. Nine of the 13 are being jailed, Mr. Molins said. Charges of acquiring, transporting and detention of arms also were issued. The remaining four who had been detained were being released.

The prosecutor said several terror plans appeared to be in the works, including the kidnapping of a judge in Lyon, in southeast France. An official close to the investigation said the targeted judge is Jewish.

Jury selection in trial of Mass. man charged with supporting terrorist group gets under way

BOSTON — As a Massachusetts man charged with conspiring to support al-Qaida went on trial Monday, potential jurors were being quizzed, likely about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Osama bin Laden and electronic surveillance of private conversations.

Tarek Mehanna, 29, of Sudbury, an affluent suburb west of Boston, is accused of plotting to get training in a terrorist camp and to kill U.S. troops in Iraq. Prosecutors allege that after Mehanna was unable to get into a terror training camp in Yemen, he began seeing himself as part of the “media wing” of al-Qaida, and started translating and distributing text and videos over the Internet in an attempt to inspire others to engage in violent jihad.

Mehanna’s lawyers say he went to Yemen to seek religious study, not terrorist training. They argue that his online activities amount to free speech protected by the First Amendment.

Suicide Bombing Comedy to Mark Anniversary of 9/11

29.08.2011

Channel 4 has sparked outrage by planning on screening “Four Lions”, a controversial comedy film by comedian Chris Morris about Muslim suicide bombers, as part of a season of programmes to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Four Lions is about a group of home-grown British terrorists who are planning an attack during the London Marathon, but end up making a mess of their plans. As the Daily Mail reports, Channel 4 will show the comedy alongside factual documentaries related to 9/11 and the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Even though Four Lions is not about 9/11, Channel 4 was showing it at this time ‘because it looked at the wider ‘geopolitical’ discussion on terrorism’ (Daily Mail).

 

Islamic Cleric Pierre Vogel Delivers Speech in Hamburg

10./ 11.07.2011

Germany’s best known Islamic cleric, Pierre Vogel, delivered a pro-Islam speech in front of approximately 1100 sympathizers in Hamburg on Saturday, July 9th. Vogel is a Salafi-Muslim who is known for his strict (and fundamentalist) interpretation of Islam, his rejection of liberal ideals and religious diversity, as well as his sympathy for former Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden (as reported earlier). Unlike other cities or even countries (e.g. Vogel is forbidden to enter Switzerland and the city of Koblenz banned him from publicly speaking earlier this year), the city of Hamburg did not prohibit Vogel’s speech last week. However, prior to the event, which Vogel had advertised via various media sources, the Police imposed a number of specific conditions, such as restrictions on completely covering up and the separation of sexes.

 

For several hours, Vogel talked on an improvised “stage” on the back of a truck about the role (and oppression) of women in Islam, the hijab and niqab, as well as the German army’s mission in Afghanistan. After he had finished his speech, seven sympathizers came up to the stage and converted to Islam, which is indicative of Vogel’s charismatic appeal.

King to hold second hearing on radicalization among American Muslims

Rep. Peter King announced Thursday that he has scheduled a Homeland Security Committee hearing for next week, examining “The Threat of Muslim-American Radicalization in U.S. Prisons.”

The hearing, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, comes three months after King (R-N.Y.) convened a highly scrutinized meeting of his panel to examine the extent of radicalization among American Muslims. King said at the time that he planned to dedicate a June hearing to investigating radicalization among prisoners. The witness list for the upcoming hearing has yet to be released.

While King’s March hearing on radicalization has drawn the greatest attention, the panel also held a meeting last month examining the homeland security implications of Osama bin Laden’s death. And Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) held a hearing of his own in late March that focused on protecting the civil rights of American Muslims. Durbin maintained that the session was not a response to King’s hearing three weeks earlier.

2 men arrested in New York, accused of plotting to blow up synagogue

Two men who officials said complained that Muslims “were being treated like dogs” were accused Thursday of conspiring to blow up a synagogue and were being held on terrorism and hate-crime charges in New York.

The men were arrested Wednesday night while they buying guns and an inert hand grenade from undercover officers, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said at an afternoon news conference attended by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Manhattan Dist. Atty. Cyrus R. Vance Jr. The case began before the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden on May 2 during a U.S. raid in Pakistan.

Officials called it the 13th attempted attack by Islamic militants on New York since Sept. 11, 2001.

As their flocks take comfort in Osama bin Laden’s death, religious leaders in America appeal to values

For many Americans, bin Laden’s death was quite literally an answer to prayer. Muslims who saw bin Laden as an apostate breathed a quiet sigh of relief. Ethicists and pastors searched for the appropriate space between vindication and vengeance. The killing of Osama bin Laden, a man who was America’s face of evil for nearly a decade, left Christians, Jews and Muslims relieved, proud or even jubilant. For their religious leaders, it was sometimes hard to know just what to say.

There is at least some dissonance between the values they preach and the triumphant response on the streets of New York and Washington to the death of a human being — even one responsible for thousands of killings in those areas and around the world.

The leader of one of the nation’s largest mosques was equally direct during prayers Friday.
“There is no doubt that this man was a thug, he was a murderer,” Imam Hassan al-Qazwini told worshippers at the Islamic Center of America in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn. “His hands were stained by the blood of thousands of innocent people — Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”

Before the sermon, Qazwini said Muslims are discouraged from showing jubilation over death, but cheering the news of bin Laden’s demise marks an occasion where “justice was served.”

In New York, the Muslim leader behind plans for a controversial mosque near the World Trade Center site is praising President Barack Obama after the death of Osama bin Laden.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (rah-OOF’) said Monday that Obama’s actions help support “people in the Arab world who are also fighting against terrorism by their own rulers.”

At Armitage Baptist Church on Chicago’s near west side, Pastor Charles Lyons told his congregation Sunday that sometimes “evil must be stopped.” “We do not rejoice in the death of the man named Osama bin Laden (but) … truth provides a platform for justice,” he said.

The Rev. Bill Kelly, priest at Saint Mary of the Assumption in Dedham, Mass., near Boston, said he was taken aback by the celebrations because he detected bloodlust. But he added that the emotional reaction is understandable.

Reform Rabbi Eric Wisnia, of Princeton, N.J.’s Congregation Beth Chaim, observed that during the Passover holiday that ended April 26, Jews recount the 10 plagues carried out against Egyptian aggressors by dipping their fingers in wine 10 times. But they are forbidden to lick their fingers, lest they take pleasure in the pain of others.

It is a sad truth that one man’s death can represent a step forward in the progress of human relations,” said Zainab Al-Suwaij, president of the Washington-based American Islamic Congress.

Texas teacher put on leave after making Osama bin Laden ‘uncle’ remark to Muslim student in class

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas — A Southeast Texas school has put a teacher on leave pending an investigation into an allegation that he asked an American-born Muslim student if she was grieving because her “uncle” had died, referring to Osama bin Laden, a school district spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The teacher, whom officials of the Clear Creek school district did not identify, is accused of offending the American-born female student Monday during a ninth-grade algebra class at Clear Brook High School in Friendswood, located 23 miles southeast of Houston.

District spokeswoman Elaina Polsen told KTRK-TV of Houston the teacher was placed on leave after another student reported the taunt to her mother.

“The student did the right thing and immediately notified an adult regarding the teacher’s comments. The principal at Clear Brook High School notified the child’s parents and has been in communication with the family,” Polsen said.

Pew surveys: Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda had been losing support in Muslim world

In the months leading up to Osama bin Laden’s death, a survey of Muslim publics around the world found little support for the al Qaeda leader. Among the six predominantly Muslim nations recently surveyed by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project, bin Laden received his highest level of support among Muslims in the Palestinian territories – although even there only 34% said they had confidence in the terrorist leader to do the right thing in world affairs. Minorities of Muslims in Indonesia (26%), Egypt (22%) and Jordan (13%) expressed confidence in bin Laden, while he has almost no support among Turkish (3%) or Lebanese Muslims (1%).

Over time, support for bin Laden has dropped sharply among Muslim publics. Since 2003, the percentage of Muslims voicing confidence in him has declined by 38 points in the Palestinian territories and 33 points in Indonesia. The greatest decline has occurred in Jordan, where 56% of Muslims had confidence in bin Laden in 2003, compared with just 13% in the current poll. Jordanian support for bin Laden fell dramatically (to 24% from 61% the year before) in 2006, following suicide attacks in Amman by al Qaeda. In Pakistan, where 2011 data is still not available, confidence in bin Laden fell from 52% in 2005 to just 18% in last year’s survey.

Al Qaeda also received largely negative ratings among Muslim publics in the 2011 survey. Only 2% of Muslims in Lebanon and 5% in Turkey expressed favorable views of al Qaeda. In Jordan, 15% had a positive opinion of al Qaeda, while about one-in-five in Indonesia (22%) and Egypt (21%) shared this view. Palestinian Muslims offered somewhat more positive opinions (28% favorable), but about two-thirds (68%) viewed bin Laden’s organization unfavorably.

Ratings of al Qaeda are, for the most part, unchanged, except in Jordan, where al Qaeda’s favorable rating fell from 34% in 2010 to 15% currently.

As was the case with views of bin Laden, Nigerian Muslims typically offer more positive views of al Qaeda than any other Muslim public surveyed.