A Kenyan man described by U.S. prosecutors as a fundraiser and recruiter for terrorist groups in Africa and the Middle East was sentenced Friday to 15 years in federal prison.
U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro imposed the maximum possible sentence on 27-year-old Mohamed Said. He pleaded guilty in May to charges of conspiring to support to Africa's violent al-Shabaab organization and al-Qaida affiliates in Syria and elsewhere.
Said's attorney, Silvia Pinera-Vazquez, had sought a more lenient eight-year sentence because Said never plotted directly against the U.S. and was solely supporting what she described as foreign "insurgents."
"There is simply no evidence of direct intent to harm the United States," she said.
But Ungaro said terrorist groups he supported have an avowed intent to attack the U.S. and its interests overseas.
"It's not reasonable to say that his conduct did not touch the United States. It did," Ungaro said.
Said and co-defendant Gufran Mohammed were arrested in 2013 in Saudi Arabia in a case that evolved from undercover FBI monitoring of Internet chat rooms frequented by Islamic extremists. Mohammed, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from India, is already serving a 15-year prison sentence after pleading guilty.
Said, from Mombasa, Kenya, had never been to the U.S. before his arrest. It was his use of the Internet and communications with undercover FBI operatives and Mohammed — who lived in the Los Angeles area — that enabled the U.S. to charge him with federal terrorism support crimes.
Of the two, Said played the more critical role because of his connections to the leadership of the terrorist groups and knowledge of their inner workings, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ricardo Del Toro. The prosecutor noted that al-Shabaab's most notorious attack was the 2013 assault on a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, that left 67 people dead.
"He was an insider in al-Shabaab," Del Toro said. "The goal of these organizations is to murder civilians."
When he pleaded guilty, Said admitted to receiving $11,600 in wire transfers from Mohammed that he distributed to al-Shabaab fighters. Prosecutors say evidence indicates that Said discussed receiving thousands of dollars more from other sources and recruited known terrorists to be sent to Syria.
He also told an FBI covert employee in an email that he knew a British citizen who could travel to the U.S. to stage a suicide attack, according to court documents, and compared the unidentified person to the 19 hijackers who pulled off the 9/11 attacks.
"He is willing to join any group and if you want (to give) him work in the U.S., like martyrdom operations, that won't be a problem," Said wrote in the email. "I'll ask him if he wishes to be like those 19 brothers."
Posted by Women Against Shariah on Friday, August 28, 2015
From the Daily Mail:
Moroccan-born Abdeladim Achriaa, a long-time resident of Spain, was arrested along with 13 others in a police operation targeting ISIS sympathisers in Spain and Morocco.
The 26-year-old self-proclaimed jihadi is accused of recruiting foreign fighters to ‘carry out massacres and create a climate of mass panic and instability’.
Police seized the accused ISIS recruiter in the small town of San Martin de la Vega, south of Madrid, as part of a joint Spanish-Moroccan operation on Tuesday.
A further 13 terror suspects were seized in the operation, including Achriaa’s father-in-law.
It has been reported that a further five of his brothers-in-law, all siblings of his partner Hafsa Azaoum, have travelled to fight with ISIS in Syria.
Two of these are said to have died in combat.
When asked why his relatives had travelled to Syria, Achriaa responsed: ‘To fight and to die’.
The ‘Salami Jihadi’ title comes from one of Achriaa’s several Facebook profiles, on which he used the bizarre nickname.
Achriaa was denied bail yesterday at Spain’s High Court, after Judge Juan Pablo Gonzalez claimed he posed a flight risk and ordered him to be held on terrorism charges pending further investigation.
Judge Gonzalez accused the alleged recruiter of ‘coordinating the members of a Syrian-Iraqi affiliate of Islamic State deployed in several cities in Morocco’...
Another Islam 'misunderstanderer'?
From NBC News:
From NBC News:
Ahmed Mohammed El Gammal, also known as Jammie Gammal, 42, of Avondale, Arizona, was indicted for providing material support to ISIS. Prosecutors say Gammal posted comments on social media supporting ISIS, which were seen by a 24-year-old college student in New York City.
Last October, court documents say, El Gammal traveled to Manhattan, met the student, and talked about the student's plans to go to the Middle East. Prosecutors say Gammal put him in touch with a person in Turkey who offered to help arrange travel.
The student left for Istanbul in January 2015 and, with Gammal's help, traveled on to Syria where he received military-type training from ISIL between early February and at least early May 2015," according to court documents.
El Gammal was arrested on Monday in Avondale, and the case was unsealed today.
Court document do not provide the name or current status of the student. According to the indictment, the student contacted Gammal from Syria on May 7 and said "everything is going according to plan."
"Individuals like Gammal who allegedly serve as facilitators for ISIL fuel the hatred and radicalization that keep terrorist organizations like ISIL alive," said Preet Bharara, the US Attorney in Manhattan where the charges were filed
Posted by Women Against Shariah
From NBC News:
Seventeen-year-old Ali Shukri Amin had faced up to 15 years in prison. His sentence of 136 months comes out to 11 years and approximately four months. Amin also faces a lifetime of probation and monitoring of his online activity.
He pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to terrorists in June -- around the same time he would have otherwise been graduating from high school with honors.
Almost two dozen relatives and friends, including two imams, were there in support as Amin was sentenced Friday in federal court in Alexandria. Juveniles rarely face charges in the federal system...
Posted by Women Against Shariah
From Jihad Watch:
On Sunday, August 23, Baha Saeed Karam, 22, was killed by four bullets at the headquarters of his battalion in Marsa Matruh. Although transferred to a hospital in Alexandria, he died upon arrival.
According to Baha’s brother, Cyril, the Coptic soldier had told him previously that he had gotten into some quarrels with other soldiers in his unit and that they had threatened him with death.
Baha is not the first Coptic Christian soldier in Egypt to be killed while stationed with his unit under “mysterious” circumstances. Two months earlier, another young Coptic soldier—the only Christian in his unit—was found dead, shot and bludgeoned on the head.
The army claimed he had committed suicide.
From Jihad Watch:
A terrorism suspect whose name appears on the “No Fly” list has been allegedly given a Class-A commercial driver’s license, which would allow him to drive semi-trucks that he can fill with whatever seemingly legal item he chooses.
Amir Meshal had been attempting to get his Class A license from a South St. Paul Truck Driving School in Minnesota. The $4,000 tuition was paid for through the state workforce program.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety confirmed he earned his license on Aug. 8 after the road test, according to the Canada Free Press.
The Department of Homeland Security has regarded this man as a terrorist threat and has the evidence to back it up, according to Cain TV.
In May 2014, Meshal was allegedly removed from a Bloomington, Minn., mosque after he was suspected of radicalizing younger people who would later travel to Syria. According to a police report, leaders at the mosque said, “We have concerns about Meshal interacting with our youth.”
Meshal was asked to leave a mosque in Eden Prairie, Minn., for similar reasons.
Dating further back, in 2007 Meshal was arrested in Kenya by the FBI after he was believed to have attended a terror training camp in Somalia.
Meshal and the American Civil Liberties Union recently sued the U.S. government for detaining him for three months after he was arrested in Kenya. According to the lawsuit, the FBI had tried to convince him to become an informant.
The two also sued TSA and Homeland Security to have Meshal removed from the “No Fly” list, reported Fox Minnesota affiliate Fox 9. However, Homeland Security responded in a letter saying, “[Meshal] may be a threat to civil aviation or national security,” adding, “It has been determined that you [Amir Meshal] are an individual who represents a threat of engaging in or conducting a violent act of terrorism and who is operationally capable of doing so.”
As if this story didn’t raise enough red flags, a spokesman from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety also revealed that Meshal also wants to drive school buses!…
Posted by Women Against Shariah on Thursday, August 27, 2015
According to a letter that arrived at his mother’s house last week, Austin Lewis, 21, was removed from the waiting list at the Ahmadiyya Abode of Peace building on Finch Ave. W in North York because he is not a member of their faith.
“It was mostly confusing, more than anything else,” he said. “Why would a government segregate its own building?”
The 16-storey building, which provides a range of services to its residents including a prayer room that accommodates 250, was actually approved in the 1990s as part of a provincial program to encourage non-profits and religious groups to build affordable housing, according to its property manager.
Lewis, who has used a wheelchair since a disease attacked his spinal cord when he was 8, says he applied to more than 100 accessible buildings in Toronto, Brampton and Peel Region, and there was no notice that any of them were restricted to a certain community.
“We had no idea. The letter came as a complete shock,” he said.
The city provides a $1.7-million subsidy for 94 rent-geared-to-income units under a five-year agreement, which began Jan. 1, that restricts tenants to “members of the Muslim Jama’at.”
“The City’s mandate policy allows social housing providers to restrict their housing to individuals belonging to an identifiable ethnic or religious group if specific conditions are met,” says a statement provided by city spokesperson John Gosgnach.
There are eight such buildings in Toronto, catering to Muslims, Macedonians, Germans and seniors who are Christian, Chinese, Greek, Hungarian or Lithuanian.
Karin Tahir, Ahmadiyya Abode of Peace’s property manager, said the building does not discriminate on race, colour or ethnicity. "Ahmadiyya is in 200 countries," he said.
"We're not bumping anyone off the list," Tahir added. "The real issue is the 90,000-person waiting list for an affordable unit. Where is the new stock?"
It’s already hard enough to find affordable housing in the GTA, Lewis says, but when you’re in a wheelchair, your options are limited even further.
“It does seem incredibly odd. There is housing for people 50 and over, but there is no housing specifically for people in chairs,” he said.
His mother, Laura Whiteway, is incensed that her son could be turned away from a wheelchair-accessible building.
“They’re being given a licence to discriminate. It’s just wrong,” she said.
Lawyer Barry Swadron, who has extensive experience in disability law, says the Ontario Human Rights Code allows for this kind of discrimination.
“Here you have a building for Muslims, and normally that would be discriminatory because other religions could not be accommodated there.
“But the Human Rights Code says if it’s a special-interests organization — religious, philanthropic, educational or social — they can discriminate in that way,” he said. “It’s very unfortunate, but that’s how the law was written.”
While the intention was to create safe spaces for minority communities, this kind of permissible “positive discrimination” inevitably produces collateral damage, Swadron said.
“(Lewis) is an unintended casualty of the system,” Swadron said. “The hope is that he can find other accommodation.”
While he is currently enrolled in an 18-month program to learn independent living skills, Lewis knows he will need a new place to live next year, and despite all his applications, he now wonders how many have him still in the running.
“This one place sent me a letter, but how many other places haven’t?” he said.
From The Telegraph:
Security forces detaining the suspect of the shooting on a Thays train at Arras train station in Arras, northern France Photo: EPA
French security forces are bracing for the eventuality of civil unrest and fear there could be a missile strike on a passenger airliner or a September 11-style attack, according to sources close to French intelligence.
“Airlines have been warned of a possible attack on a plane with an anti-tank missile,” a source told The Telegraph. “But pilots are unsure how to take evasive action.”
After Friday’s thwarted attempt to massacre passengers on an Amsterdam-Paris train and a series of terrorist attacks and attempted killings in France this year, President François Hollande warned the nation to prepare for more violence, considered inevitable as the Islamist threat grows.
The army has made contingency plans for the “reappropriation of national territory”, meaning to win back control of neighbourhoods where the population become hostile to the security forces and where guns are easily obtainable, according to the source.
“There are a lot of alienated and angry fourth-generation immigrant kids in the suburbs and the prospect of radicalisation is increasingly likely,” the source said.
“The idea that attacks like the one on the train are carried out by individuals acting on their own is not credible. We’re dealing with highly-organised networks of militant Islamists embarked on a campaign of violence and determined to intensify it.”
Kalashnikov automatic rifles -- used by the train gunman and Islamist terrorists who killed 17 people in Paris in January -- and anti-tank missiles are now obtainable in France. Many were smuggled in from the former Yugoslavia after the Balkan wars in the 1990s. More weapons have come in from Libya, the sources said, adding that organised crime and terrorist groups were working together to procure them...
Posted by Women Against Shariah
From Jihad Watch:
Meanwhile, gay activists in the U.S. generally excoriate those calling attention to this persecution and mass murder, rather than standing against Sharia oppression of gays.
Why does the Islamic State throw gays off tall buildings and then stone them? Here is a quote from a manual of Islamic law, al-Siyaasah al-Shar’iyyah, as reproduced at IslamQA.com:
Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas said: The highest point in the town should be found and the homosexual should be thrown head first from it, then stones should be thrown at him.“Loot” is the Biblical figure Lot. When this says that the punishment of throwing homosexuals off high places and stoning them is derived from the punishment of Allah upon the homosexuals of the people of Lot, it is referring to this Qur’an passage:
Ibn ‘Abbaas derived this hadd punishment from the punishment that Allaah sent upon the homosexuals of the people of Loot.
“And Lot when he said to his people, ‘Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people.’ But the answer of his people was only that they said, ‘Evict them from your city! Indeed, they are men who keep themselves pure.’ So We saved him and his family, except for his wife; she was of those who remained. And We rained upon them a rain. Then see how was the end of the criminals.” (Qur’an 7:80-84)
This “rain” that Allah rained down upon them is generally understood by Islamic authorities as referring to a rain of stones, as per this Qur’an passage:
“By your life, indeed they were, in their intoxication, wandering blindly. So the shriek seized them at sunrise. And We made the highest part its lowest and rained upon them stones of hard clay. Indeed in that are signs for those who discern. And indeed, those cities are on an established road.” (Qur’an 15:72-76)
“ISIS out to exterminate all homosexuals in Mideast, uses Facebook to hunt them down,” by Jonah Hicap, Christian Today, August 27, 2015 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
The jihadist Islamic State is out to exterminate all males perceived as homosexuals in Syria and Iraq, and it uses Facebook to track them down, the head of an international gay rights organisation to the United Nations on Monday.
During a UN Security Council meeting Monday, Jessica Stern, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), said ISIS has already killed at least 30 people for sodomy, meaning those who it perceived to be gays….
Adnan, an Iraqi, said he suffered from brutality under Iraqi security forces even before the ISIS came.
He said ISIS militants “are professional when it comes to tracking gay people. They hunt them down one by one. When they capture people, they go through the person’s phone and contacts and Facebook friends.”
“They are trying to track down every gay man. And it’s like dominoes. If one goes, the others will be taken down, too,” he said.
Posted by Women Against Shariah
From Jihad Watch:
One day, however, the truth it has so assiduously endeavored to ignore, deny and suppress will dawn upon it with undeniable and terrifying reality, and maybe some of those bishops will realize how ill they served their people by enforcing and reinforcing their ignorance and complacency.
“‘There’s No Such Thing as Moderate Islam’: An Iraqi Priest Describes the Christian Genocide,” by Matteo Matzuzzi, Il Foglio, August 26, 2015 (translated by Francesca Romana, Rorate Caeli):
Rome. “Please, if there’s anyone who still thinks ISIS doesn’t represent Islam, know that they are wrong. ISIS represents Islam one hundred percent.” Father Douglas al Bazi, an Iraqi Catholic parish priest in Erbil, raised his voice during an intervention at the Meeting in Rimini, with a choice of words – in a provocative way and in hard tones – that few had ventured use so far.
He carries on his own body the scars of the torture he underwent nine years ago, when a band of Jihadists kidnapped him for nine days, keeping him in chains and blindfolds along with a broken nose from being kneed: “For the first four days they didn’t even give me anything to drink. They would walk past me saying ‘Father, do you want some water?’ All day long they would listen to the reading of the Koran to let the neighbours hear what good believers they were.”…
Father Douglas Al Bazi is in charge of two refugee shelters for Christians who survived the advance of the black horde – not far from Ankawa. After the marking of houses with the “n” of the Nazarene plus the Christians displaced on the Nineveh plain, a year ago, “from morning to night we receive thousands of refugees” and the exodus continues. “I’m proud to be an Iraqi, I love my country. But my country is not proud that I’m part of it. What is happening to my people is nothing other than genocide. I beg you: do not call it a conflict. It’s genocide”, said the priest, who doesn’t want to hear anything about “moderate Islam”: “When Islam lives amidst you, the situation might appear acceptable. But when one lives amidst Muslims, everything becomes impossible. I’m not here to instigate you to hate Islam. I was born amid Muslims and I have more friends among them than I have with Christians. But people change and if we go to my country, no-one will be able to distinguish the light from the darkness. There are those who say: “but I have lots of Muslim friends who are very nice”. Yes, certainly! They are nice over here! Over there the situation is very different!”
A situation in which regard the vice-President of the French Conference for Imams also had some tough words to say. Hocine Drouiche, also the Imam of Nimes, intervened last July at the European Parliament: “In the world, Christians are being persecuted, hunted down, deprived of work, imprisoned, tortured and murdered. All means are being used to force them to deny their faith, including the ritual of collective rape, considered in some states a form of penal sanction. Owning a Bible has become a crime, religious worship is prohibited and there has been a return to the times of Masses in the caves and the first martyrs”. And the fault, Drouiche had added in a discourse which had not been highlighted very much by the European media”, is contemporary Islam”, which is much closer “to sectarianism rather than a universal, open religion”.
“I believe in the end they will destroy us”
Father al Bazi’s account is of one who runs the risk of being murdered on the street every day: We never know if coming out of the church we’ll be able to go into it again alive. In Baghdad they had the church explode right in front of me. They shot me on the legs with a AK-47, a type of Kalashnikov, and probably sooner or later they’ll kill me”. Yet his faith is solid: “When they put me in chains, during my kidnapping, they tightened a big padlock on my wrists. On the chain there were ten extra rings, which I used to recite the Rosary. I have never prayed it so earnestly as I did in that situation”. “I – added Father Douglas – don’t implore your help. I’m not frightened just as my people aren’t frightened either. I believe they’ll destroy us in the end. But I also believe that we will have the last word. Jesus told us that we need to carry our own crosses, and that is what we in the Middle East are doing. Yet the most important thing is not the carrying of the cross, but following it. And following it means accepting, challenging and committing oneself right to the very end”.
“We need to have patience and carry the cross each day, but we also must react”, said Father Ibrahim Alsabagh, parish priest in Aleppo, echoing him, and reported how the city is now “divided in tens of parts, each one of them in the hands of a different group of Jihadists. Our Church of St. Francis is sixty metres from the firing line. They have already hit many churches, we don’t know when it will be our turn”. Here is why Father Douglas, at the end of his intervention, launched a warning to the feeble West:
“Wake up! The cancer is at your door. They will destroy you. We, the Christians of the Middle East are the only group that has seen the face of evil: Islam”….