Texas terror suspect planned mosque attack, officials say

April 4, 2014


Robert James Talbot Jr. considered himself a revolutionary seeking to create a different society by robbing an armored car, killing police and even blazing a bloody path though a service at a mosque where he would shoot men, women and children at prayer, officials said.

Talbot was ordered held without bond Wednesday at a hearing in Houston, Angela Dodge, a spokeswoman for Kenneth Magidson, the U.S. attorney for the southern district of Texas, said in an email. Talbot, 38, of Katy, Texas, was arrested last week, but government terror experts gave new details at Tuesday’s hearing on what they said were his plans.

When Talbot was taken into custody, prosecutors released documents outlining what they said was his effort to recruit five or six like-minded individuals “to blow up government buildings, rob banks and kill law enforcement officers. Talbot created a Facebook page titled “American Insurgent Movement,” the complaint alleged.

His goal as stated on Facebook, according to the complaint, was to create a “a Pre-Constitutionalist Community … [for] those who seek True patriotism and are looking for absolute Freedom by doing the Will of God. Who want to restore America Pre-Constitutionally and look forward to stopping the Regime with action by bloodshed.”

The complaint alleges that in a March 15 Facebook post, Talbot said: “In a few weeks me and my team are goin active for Operation Liberty…I will not be able to post no more. We will be the revolution, things will happen nation wide or in the states. They will call us many names and spin things around on media. Just remember we fight to stop Marxism, liberalism, Central banking Cartels and the New World Order.”

FBI special agent Renee Cline testified at the hearing that Talbot “wanted to go to a mosque on Friday and take women, children, men and shoot them,” according to the Houston Chronicle. Cline added that Talbot planned to hit the mosque during a prayer session when the most people would be there.

Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-texas-terror-suspect-mosque-attack-20140402,0,2322303.story#axzz2yE3oOxsF

Islamic group sues Des Plaines for rejecting planned mosque

Another federal court battle is brewing over a northwest suburb’s refusal this summer to let a 160-member Islamic group open a mosque in a vacant building in an industrial area.

The lawsuit filed Monday against Des Plaines and five of its aldermen is the latest to take on a “knee-jerk reaction to something Islamic or Muslim,” said Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Chicago.

His group helped win a $445,000 settlement from DuPage County in a similar case earlier this year. Now, it’s backing the case brought by the American Islamic Center and its attorney, Tony Peraica.

“We believe this was done for discriminatory reasons,” Peraica said.

Des Plaines officials either declined to comment Monday or failed to return calls from the Sun-Times.

Nearly all of the American Islamic Center’s members are Bosnian refugees from the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to its lawsuit. It said it entered a contract in February to buy an empty office building on 1.8 acres of land at 1645 Birchwood Ave., for religious and educational activities.

Filmmaker switches sides and now opposes mosque

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — An outspoken supporter of a planned mosque that has sparked opposition in Murfreesboro, Tenn., has switched sides and joined the anti-Islam movement.

Eric Allen Bell, a documentary filmmaker, was a fixture at court hearings and protests over the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro in 2010. Back then, he was making a movie called “Not Welcome,” which depicted mosque critics as Southern Christian bigots.

Now he says the mosque is part of a plot to destroy America. He claimed the mosque is “built on a foundation of lies” in a recent op-ed piece at the anti-Islam site Jihadwatch.com.

“I want to communicate that the biggest threat to human rights is Islam,” he said in a recent phone interview.

Mosque supporters feel betrayed by Bell. They wonder if he was a fraud or has been paid off by anti-Muslim groups.

“Only a hired gun would switch sides like this,” said Jace Short of the group Middle Tennesseans for Religious Freedom.

Saudi’s Prince Alwaleed urges moving planned NYC mosque to respect 9/11 memory

In interview excerpts published by the Dubai-based Arabian Business magazine, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was quoted as saying that moving the planned mosque, health club and cultural center would respect the memory of those killed in the 2001 attacks and allow American Muslims to choose a more suitable location.

The comments are reportedly the prince’s first public views on the dispute, which has stirred street protests and fiery debates between religious and political leaders over America’s freedom of worship versus the lingering anger over the 9/11 attacks.

Imam Rauf said in a written statement that the project would go forward as planned. “While we respect the points of view of other interested observers, we plan to build the community center in this location because we have been part of Lower Manhattan for decades and we want to better serve the needs of our neighbors of all faith traditions,” he said.

Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Foundation has contributed to the group run by New York’s Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, but said he has given no funds to the planned center.

Tromsö Mosque Debated, Again

October 24

Once again the controversy over a Mosque Muslims and others would like to see built in the town of Tromsø in Norway is making the news. The Mosque, which is planned to be built in a “Norwegian Style” have been promised funding from a private Saudi sponsor. Rather than a symbol of an integrated Norwegian Islam, many feel this is an example of Saudi Arabian Islamic mission. Representatives of Saudi Arabia say they’re not involved in the planned mosque, and that they do not want this affair to jeopardize their good relations to Norway.

Tromsø has approximately 1000 Muslims. There a three main Muslim organizations in Tromsø. The Al-Nor congregation led by Sandra Maryam Moe and her husband Andrew Ibrahim Wenham with 296 registered members (2009). There is also the Islamic Center of North Norway (ISSN) lead by Mohamed H. Hassan and Hassan Aidiid. 2009 ISSN counted 480 members. Then there is also a Muslim Student organization called Islam Net Student (ISN) with about 20 members.

Foreign minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Ap) speaks against the planned mosque and says he wants to hinder Saudi Arabia’s plans to sponsor it. He thinks it is absurd that Saudi Arabia can sponsor a Mosque to be built in Norway, when Christian congregation’s aren’t allowed to establish them self in Saudi. Støre says he’ll take the question to the European Council.

But there are also prominent voices positive to the project. The popular Lutheran priest Stig Lægdene says it’s not more than right Tromsø’s Muslim get to build a proper Mosque, and one should not care where the money comes from. Norway has one of Europe’s largest missionary churches, he says. So what the Saudi’s are doing in Norway now, we have been doing for a long time in the rest of the world. And what’s the alternative, he says. Are we to give them the money to build a Mosque?

And Arild Hausberg, who is chairman of Arbeiterpartiet (Ap) says he is positive to the Mosque. “It strikes me these are good people,” he said after meeting Sandra Maryam Moe and Andrew Ibrahim Wenham of the al-Nor congregation.

NY Town Tells Muslim Community to Close Cemetery, Remove 2 Corpses: Leaders Say it’s Bigotry

SIDNEY CENTER, N.Y. (AP) — Officials in a rural upstate New York town are trying to force a group of Muslims to dig up two bodies in their cemetery, saying the burials were illegal.

But the Sufi group, which has documents that appear to support the cemetery’s legality, says the town board’s actions were motivated by a wave of anti-Islamic sentiment fueled by the uproar over a planned mosque near ground zero.

Hans Hass of the Osmanli Naksibendi Hakkani community, 130 miles northwest of New York City, said Tuesday that the Sufi community learned only recently about the Sidney Town Board’s vote in August to pursue legal action to shut down the community’s cemetery.

New Yorkers Express anger over planned mosque

By Benjamin Soloway

After agreeing to sell a Staten Island convent to a Muslim group that intends to use it as a mosque, Rev. Keith Fennessy is attempting to rescind the deal in the face of community objections. The Staten Island controversy is especially notable in the wake of objections to the $100 million mosque and Islamic cultural center planned just a few blocks from Ground Zero.

CAIR asks President to address rise in anti-Islam hate Islamophobic incidents, rhetoric target ordinary American Muslims

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on President Obama to address what it called an “alarming level of anti-Islam hate in our nation.”

In a letter to President Obama, CAIR cited recent incidents in Florida in which a cross with the message “Christian nation, Christian community” was planted at the site of a planned mosque and an anti-Islam Christmas display was set up by a local church.

Note: this summary was taken directly from CAIR’s news update.

Muslims join battle to stop new mosque

More than 200 people, including members of the Muslim community, joined forces at a packed public meeting to fight controversial plans for a new mosque in Walsall. People living near the planned mosque at the former Hertz Rent-A-Car and Autocrash Repair Centre, in St John’s Road, Pleck, were joined by Muslims from the area in opposing the scheme. Residents say dozens more cars would be brought on to an already busy road if the current proposals are given the go-ahead by Walsall Council planners. Representatives of an existing mosque in nearby Woodward Road said there are already enough mosques in the area. A meeting last night at Pleck Working Men’s club, next to the proposed site in Scarborough Road, resolved a committee would be set up to campaign against the application. Pat Etchells, aged 57, from Darlaston Road, said: “There are already parking problems here and we are going to have a red route down the road soon. “I am concerned about access for the emergency services as much as anything, with Walsall Manor just a short distance away.” Sue Hayward, who also lives nearby, said: “It’s not a large piece of land and certainly not big enough for all the cars there will be there.”

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Muslims feel under siege as Italian Right sets up town vigilante groups

As Northern League leader Leandro Comacchio stands outside supermarkets in Padua collecting signatures for a referendum to stop the construction of a local mosque, Muslims in the area are feeling increasingly concerned about discrimination being masked as concerned residents. Comacchio says that his actions are not aimed at Muslims, but rather, as a protest against the permissive center-left council, which he alleges is giving away land for a planned mosque. Fearful of increasing tensions, local Moroccan student Maher Selmi said: we don’t want confrontation. We want dialogue with all parties to find common ground. The mosque is planned to close by next month, or the owner will reclaim the site.