- Created on Monday, 26 August 2013 06:34
- Written by Pamela Geller – WND
NY police designate mosques as terrorism groups
The New York Police Department has secretly labeled entire mosques as terrorist organizations, a designation that allows police to use informants to record sermons and spy on imams, often without specific evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
Since the Sept. 11, 2011 terror attacks on the U.S., the NYPD has opened at least a dozen “terrorism enterprise investigations” into mosques, according to interviews and confidential police documents. The TEI, as it is known, is a police tool intended to help investigate terrorist cells and the like.
Many TEIs stretch for years, allowing surveillance to continue even though the NYPD has never criminally charged a mosque or Islamic organization with operating as a terrorism enterprise.
The documents show in detail how, in its hunt for terrorists, the NYPD investigated countless innocent New York Muslims and put information about them in secret police files. As a tactic, opening an enterprise investigation on a mosque is so potentially invasive that while the NYPD conducted at least a dozen, the FBI never did one, according to interviews with federal law enforcement officials.
The strategy has allowed the NYPD to send undercover officers into mosques and attempt to plant informants on the boards of mosques and at least one prominent Arab-American group, whose executive director has worked with city officials.
The revelations about the NYPD’s massive spying operations are in documents recently obtained by The Associated Press and part of a new book, “Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America.” The book by AP reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman is based on hundreds of previously unpublished police files and interviews with current and former NYPD, CIA and FBI officials.
The American Civil Liberties Union and two other groups have sued, saying the Muslim spying programs are unconstitutional and make Muslims afraid to practice their faith without police scrutiny.
Both Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly have denied those accusations. Speaking Wednesday on MSNBC, Kelly reminded people that his intelligence-gathering programs began in the wake of 9/11.
“We follow leads wherever they take us,” Kelly said. “We’re not intimidated as to wherever that lead takes us. And we’re doing that to protect the people of New York City.”
The NYPD did not limit its operations to collecting information on those who attended the mosques or led prayers. The department sought also to put people on the boards of New York’s Islamic institutions to fill intelligence gaps.
One confidential NYPD document shows police wanted to put informants in leadership positions at mosques and other organizations, including the Arab American Association of New York, a secular social-service organization.
Linda Sarsour, the executive director, said her group helps new immigrants adjust to life in the U.S. It was not clear whether the department was successful in its plans.
The document, which appears to have been created around 2009, was prepared for Kelly and distributed to the NYPD’s debriefing unit, which helped identify possible informants.
Around that time, Kelly was handing out medals to the Arab American Association’s soccer team, smiling and congratulating its players for winning the NYPD’s soccer league.
Sarsour, a Muslim who has met with Kelly many times, said she felt betrayed.
“It creates mistrust in our organizations,” said Sarsour, who was born and raised in the U.S. “It makes one wonder and question who is sitting on the boards of the institutions where we work and pray.”
Before the NYPD could target mosques as terrorist groups, it had to persuade a federal judge to rewrite rules governing how police can monitor speech protected by the First Amendment.
The rules stemmed from a 1971 lawsuit over how the NYPD spied on protesters and liberals during the Vietnam War era.
David Cohen, a former CIA executive who became NYPD’s deputy commissioner for intelligence in 2002, said the old rules didn’t apply to fighting against terrorism.
Cohen told the judge that mosques could be used “to shield the work of terrorists from law enforcement scrutiny by taking advantage of restrictions on the investigation of First Amendment activity.”
NYPD lawyers proposed a new tactic, the TEI, that allowed officers to monitor political or religious speech whenever the “facts or circumstances reasonably indicate” that groups of two or more people were involved in plotting terrorism or other violent crime.
The judge rewrote the rules in 2003. In the first eight months under the new rules, the NYPD’s Intelligence Division opened at least 15 secret terrorism enterprise investigations, documents show. At least 10 targeted mosques.
Doing so allowed police, in effect, to treat anyone who attends prayer services as a potential suspect. Sermons, ordinarily protected by the First Amendment, could be monitored and recorded.
Among the mosques targeted as early as 2003 was the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge.
“I have never felt free in the United States. The documents tell me I am right,” Zein Rimawi, one of the mosque’s leaders, said after reviewing an NYPD document describing his mosque as a terrorist enterprise.
Rimawi, 59, came to the U.S. decades ago from Israel’s occupied West Bank.
“Ray Kelly, shame on him,” he said. “I am American.”
The NYPD believed the tactics were necessary to keep the city safe, a view that sometimes put it at odds with the FBI.
In August 2003, Cohen asked the FBI to install eavesdropping equipment inside a mosque called Masjid al-Farooq, including its prayer room.
Al-Farooq had a long history of radical ties. Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egyptian sheik who was convicted of plotting to blow up New York City landmarks, once preached briefly at Al-Farooq. Invited preachers raged against Israel, the United States and the Bush administration’s war on terror.
One of Cohen’s informants said an imam from another mosque had delivered $30,000 to an al-Farooq leader, and the NYPD suspected the money was for terrorism.
But Amy Jo Lyons, the FBI assistant special agent in charge for counterterrorism, refused to bug the mosque. She said the federal law wouldn’t permit it.
The NYPD made other arrangements. Cohen’s informants began to carry recording devices into mosques under investigation. They hid microphones in wristwatches and the electronic key fobs used to unlock car doors.
Even under a TEI, a prosecutor and a judge would have to approve bugging a mosque. But the informant taping was legal because New York law allows any party to record a conversation, even without consent from the others. Like the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, the NYPD never demonstrated in court that al-Farooq was a terrorist enterprise but that didn’t stop the police from spying on the mosques for years.
And under the new guidelines, no one outside the NYPD could question the secret practice.
Martin Stolar, one of the lawyers in the 1971 case, said it’s clear the NYPD used enterprise investigations to justify open-ended surveillance. The NYPD should only tape conversations about building bombs or plotting attacks, he said.
“Every Muslim is a potential terrorist? It is completely unacceptable,” he said. “It really tarnishes all of us and tarnishes our system of values.”
Al-Ansar Center, a windowless Sunni mosque, opened several years ago, attracting young Arabs and South Asians. NYPD officers feared the mosque was a breeding ground for terrorists, so informants kept watch on it.
The NYPD was particularly alarmed about Mohammad Elshinawy, 26, an Islamic teacher at several New York mosques, including Al-Ansar. Elshinawy was a Salafist _ a follower of a puritanical Islamic movement _ whose father was an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center attacks, according to NYPD documents.
The FBI also investigated whether Elshinawy recruited people to wage violent jihad overseas. But the two agencies investigated him very differently.
The FBI closed the case after many months without any charges. Federal investigators never infiltrated Al-Ansar.
“Nobody had any information the mosque was engaged in terrorism activities,” a former federal law enforcement official recalled, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the investigation.
The NYPD wasn’t convinced. A 2008 surveillance document described Elshinawy as “a young spiritual leader (who) lectures and gives speeches at dozens of venues” and noted, “He has orchestrated camping trips and paintball trips.”
The NYPD deemed him a threat in part because “he is so highly regarded by so many young and impressionable individuals.”
No part of Elshinawy’s life was out of bounds. His mosque was the target of a TEI. The NYPD conducted surveillance at his wedding. An informant recorded the wedding and police videotaped everyone who came and went.
“We have nothing on the lucky bride at this time but hopefully will learn about her at the service,” one lieutenant wrote.
Four years later, the NYPD was still watching Elshinawy without charging him. He is now a plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit against the NYPD.
“These new NYPD spying disclosures confirm the experiences and worst fears of New York’s Muslims,” ACLU lawyer Hina Shamsi said. “From houses of worship to a wedding, there’s no area of New York Muslim religious or personal life that the NYPD has not invaded through its bias-based surveillance policy.”
Iran is threatening to launch a massive missile strike against Israel if the United States attacks Syria for using chemical weapons against its own people, which could touch off a full-blown war in the region.
“The day of reckoning is near,” according to Hossein Shariatmadari, the chief editor of Keyhan newspaper, an outlet controlled by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
An Op-Ed penned by Shariatmadari Tuesday warned that the impending confrontation between the West and Syria would “provide the long-awaited opportunity for revenge against Israel and America.”
The editor recalled the U.S.-led attack on Baghdad on March 20, 2003, and President George W. Bush’s boast to reporters seven days later that the “Iraq war is over.” But when the last U.S. soldiers were leaving Iraq in December 2011, nearly 4,500 Americans had been killed and the war had cost America trillions of dollars.
Shariatmadari said that Washington, instead of open war against Syria, has been waging a proxy war against the Assad regime with the help of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Egypt. He said now it is ready to directly confront Syria militarily, one of the members of the Resistance Front along with Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. However, despite Syrian rebels receiving financial and military support from those Middle East countries, not only has the Assad regime not been overthrown but it has opened a “new chapter for the Resistance where it formed the forces of ‘defense of Homeland,’ a force similar to the Basij militias (in Iran).”
Iran has long drawn a red line around the Assad regime. And Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon, Israel’s neighbor, are armed with thousands of missiles. The three members of the Resistance Front have a joint war room.
“Because of the failure of the intended proxy war, America and some Arab and European countries are preparing to attack Syria on the false claims that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons,” the editor said. “However, America can certainly start the war but it won’t be the one to end it.”
Shariatmadari said that Israel is the “Achilles’ heel of America and its European allies and without a doubt with the start of an attack on Syria, thousands of missiles will rain down all over the occupied lands (Israel), which will destroy its critical facilities as it was obvious that its missile defense system (the Iron Dome) could not prevent missiles reaching Tel Aviv.”
He also warned Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and others who support attacking Syria that they themselves will come under attack from Syria.
“Muslims should welcome the news of an attack on Syria as it will provide the long-awaited opportunity for revenge, which should destroy the enemies of Islam,” Shariatmadari concluded.
Seyed Reza Taghavai, the head of Iran’s Policy Council of Friday Prayers, hinted that Khamenei is guiding the events in Syria, Lebanon and Gaza despite Iran publicly saying that it has nothing to do with them, Fars News Agency reported Monday. “People stand tall because of (Khamenei’s) guidance and in Syria where it has resisted against the unbelievers,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Islamic regime’s reporting agency Abna.ir published images of commanders of the Zolfaghar Battalion fighting in Syria. It said that the Zolfaghar and Abolfazle Abass battalions are mostly made up of Iraqi and Lebanese Shiites in fighting the Syrian rebels.
The agency published the images of Zolfaghar’s commander, Abu Hajer, visiting the holy site in the city of Mashhad in Iran.
Iran’s Quds Forces have long trained Shiites to fight alongside Assad’s forces in Syria. Many of these fighters enter Syria through Iraq.
Last week an alleged chemical weapons attack targeted the outskirts of Damascus, which so far has taken the lives of more than a thousand civilians. The attack was later confirmed by the United States and European countries, who called for a response. The Obama administration has hinted in recent days that there will be a military response to using chemical weapons, which Secretary of State John Kerry called “a moral obscenity.”
Meanwhile, Foreign Policy magazine reported today that U.S. eavesdropping confirmed the existence of the chemical attack.
“Last Wednesday, in the hours after a horrific chemical attack east of Damascus, an official at the Syrian Ministry of Defense exchanged panicked phone calls with the leader of a chemical weapons unit, demanding answers for a nerve agent strike that killed more than 1,000 people,” the magazine reported.
“Those conversations were overheard by U.S. intelligence services,” Foreign Policy said in a statement. “That is the major reason why American officials now say they’re certain that the attacks were the work of the Bashar al-Assad regime – and why the U.S. military is likely to attack that regime in a matter of days.”
CAIRO — I LOOKED on, astonished, as a man a few yards away told protesters that he would slaughter me.
He spoke resolutely and enthusiastically, and seemed utterly willing to carry out his promise.
The man, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, stood among thousands of stick-waving supporters, their beards long and their faces angry, as they chanted “God is great” and “Down with infidels.” They watched him make the familiar and menacing gesture of tracing his finger across his throat as he said, “We will slaughter Ibrahim Essa.”
This was in March. I was in a car trying to get to the Egyptian Media Production City, a compound a half-hour’s drive west from downtown Cairo that houses many television studios, to record my daily TV program, which was critical of the Brotherhood and its political leader, President Mohamed Morsi. The group had surrounded the compound and locked its gates. They had set up tents at the front and communal toilets outside the walls.
I had gotten used to threats during the long rule of President Hosni Mubarak, which dragged me before its courts about 70 times and sentenced me to prison on four occasions. But the Morsi era was different. Under Mr. Mubarak, I was threatened only with prison; under Mr. Morsi, my life was in danger.
The Morsi supporters’ siege of the Media City compound was airtight. They hung up my picture, alongside that of other commentators critical of Mr. Morsi, with nooses drawn around our necks so that we looked like wanted criminals from old Westerns. Meanwhile, they searched all those who came in and out of the studios, destroying cars and attacking some of the journalists and Morsi opponents who’d had the bad luck of being scheduled for a TV appearance.
Later, a reformist judge who looks somewhat like me told me that, after leaving a TV show where he had been a guest, some of the Brothers mistook him for me. The judge screamed that he wasn’t Ibrahim Essa, and proved it by showing them his belt. (I’ve become well known for wearing suspenders, so much so that the Brothers mockingly call me Ibrahim Abu-Suspenders.) As the judge told the story, he blinked back tears, still reeling from the fear and tension.
The night of the siege, we journalists drove down abandoned back roads in the desert to reach the studio, driving past walls of barbed wire that brought to mind images of the United States-Mexico border. My co-workers at the TV show were already heroic for coming to work despite the pressures of the siege, the threats and the constant fear, and on top of it all they had to ensure my security and daily survival.
Even today, nearly two months after a popular revolution removed Mr. Morsi in July, Media City remains under threat by the Brothers, who accuse the media of being the prime instigators of the revolt against Mr. Morsi and the Brotherhood. The power of reporters and commentators to lead a revolution would come as a surprise to my colleagues, whose open secret is a constant despair at being unable to change much of anything.
Threats, sieges and targeting of journalists are among the Brothers’ favorite tactics, and they continue to bide their time with such activities, despite the ouster of Mr. Morsi and the violent crackdown on the Brotherhood.
Just last week, the sound of bullets was so loud and close that we all rushed into the lobby of the hotel near the Media Production City. Since the imposition of an emergency curfew following the Brotherhood’s attacks on churches, journalists, government bureaucrats and ordinary citizens, the hotel has become a twin of Baghdad’s famous Rashid Hotel during the Iraq war: a place of gathering and shelter for journalists. When the bullets died down, we made sure no one had been hurt.
On my first night at the hotel, a motorcycle carrying three men tried to crash into the lobby. They fired shots into the hotel, and a police chase ensued. When two of the three were captured, they said that they had just been lost in the desert and confused, a funny excuse for something that was not funny at all.
Remaining in the hotel with other television journalists, also living under death threats, was terribly depressing. For safety’s sake, I asked a police officer to escort me back to Media City, even though my house is only 10 minutes from the compound. As the siren of the police car driving ahead of me blared its way through the curfew and I sat next to a police officer in a bulletproof vest holding an automatic rifle, I recalled the day in 1992 when I opened the door to my apartment and found an officer from the Interior Ministry, warning me that I had appeared on a militant group’s list of assassination targets because of my criticism of Islamists.
At the time, I was writing against the rising tide of terrorism and extremism during a difficult phase in Egypt’s history. I was also single. Looking around my small, sparsely furnished apartment in obvious distaste, the officer asked me if I wanted a moving guard (who would accompany me everywhere I went) or a fixed guard (who would just stand outside my home or workplace). I told him that I didn’t own a car, and asked whether the officer would just ride the subway or the public bus with me. The officer was fed up with me and decided I would get a fixed guard.
The guard’s job was to accompany me as I crossed the street, then stand by my side as I negotiated with taxi drivers to take me to work. Once I’d found my ride for the day, he would wave, then go back to his post outside my apartment building. Later, when I learned more about confessions by members of the group that had targeted me, I learned that they knew where I lived, that the sister of one of the men lived nearby, and that I had been under threat wherever I went. During this period, I learned to be brave in the face of death, and since then, I have not feared anything else. Since the start of my career, I have faced accusations of blasphemy and death threats. I have been fired; seen publications I’ve edited get shut down; and watched as copies of my novel “Assassination of the Big Man” were seized.
Last week, as I waited for the police car to escort me to the studio and for the fully armed officer next to me to shield me from a potential attack, I found history repeating itself on a grander, more dangerous scale. It’s as if terrorism will never end, and my fate is to face death because of what I write and what I say. Sometimes, when I set out for work and say goodbye to my wife and children, I feel like a soldier waving to his family from a train as he heads toward battle.
By: John Gizzi
On the same day that the Al Jazeera network opened its U.S. outlet, a longtime opponent warned American viewers to be on guard against the television colossus and its sympathy to the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamist organizations.
“Al Jazeera is government-funded media — the government being that of the regime in Qatar, which is a state sponsor of terrorism,” Cliff Kincaid, of the America’s Survival group that is dedicated to “the fight against global Jihad,” told a conference at the National Press Club on Tuesday.
Using a slide presentation, Kincaid cited reports that 22 staffers from Al Jazeera’s Egyptian affiliate resigned to protest what they called the network’s “biased coverage” in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, which deposed President Mohamed Morsi belongs to.
At the time, Karem Mahmoud, formerly anchor at Al Jazeera’s Egypt operations, told Gulf News that “the management in Doha provokes sedition among the Egyptian people and has an agenda against Egypt and other Arab countries.”
Mahmoud charged that before every broadcast he made, “there are instructions to us to telecast certain news” that casts the Muslim Brotherhood in a favorable light.
His views were strongly seconded by Haggag Salama, formerly a correspondent for Al Jazeera based in Luxor, Egypt. Salama, according to Gulf News, charged that Al Jazeera’s Egyptian network is “airing lies and misleading viewers.”
In citing the protest resignations from Al Jazeera, Kincaid noted reports from Middle East journalist and scholar Raymond Ibrahim, who wrote that the network’s news “even sometimes portray the very large masses of anti-Morsi protesters as pro-Morsi protesters.”
Kincaid noted Al Jazeera’s coverage of the assault of CBS News foreign correspondent Lara Logan in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in February 2011. While covering the downfall of then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Logan was beaten, dragged on the ground, and sexually assaulted. Her revelations of the assault a few days later were worldwide news and, upon returning to the U.S., Logan was contacted by President Barack Obama.
“But Al Jazeera ignored Lara Logan’s story,” said Kincaid, citing a subsequent explanation from the Qatari network’s Heather Allen that Logan’s assault was ignored “out of respect for privacy.”
Kincaid has long tried to get House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican, to conduct hearings on Al Jazeera and investigate if they are dispensing Muslim propaganda and slanted news in the U.S. and are tied to terrorist groups.
So far, his requests have fallen on deaf ears. Kincaid blames this on the network’s retention of the high-powered lobbying firm DLA Piper, which oversaw Al Jazeera’s purchase of former Vice President Al Gore’s Current TV cable network for an estimated $500 million.
In recent years, Al Jazeera has hired several noted newscasters and reporters from American networks, notably one-time CNN reporter Soledad O’Brien. In addition, Great Britain’s Sir David Frost, one of the most-respected interviewers for four decades, now presents the “Frost Interview” on Al Jazeera.
“Obviously, that’s what money will buy,” said Kincaid, “but they ought to realize where the money is coming from.”
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
NEW YORK – President Obama’s half-brother in Kenya could cause the White House more headaches over new evidence linking him to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and establishing that controversial IRS supervisor Lois Lerner signed his tax-exempt approval letter.
Malik Obama’s oversight of the Muslim Brotherhood’s international investments is one reason for the Obama administration’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to an Egyptian report citing the vice president of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt, Tehani al-Gebali
In a news report on Egyptian television of a Gebali speech, translated by researcher Walid Shoebat, a former Palestinian Liberation Organization operative, Gebali said she would like “to inform the American people that their president’s brother Obama is one of the architects of the major investments of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
“We will carry out the law, and the Americans will not stop us,” she said. “We need to open the files and begin court sessions.
“The Obama administration cannot stop us; they know that they supported terrorism,” she continued. “We will open the files so these nations are exposed, to show how they collaborated with [the terrorists]. It is for this reason that the American administration fights us.”
Shoebat said Gebali explained the news is important to Americans who are concerned about their president’s actions, calling it “is a gift to the American people,” implying there were more revelations to come.
In an interview on Egyptian television, Gebali said the cost to Egypt has been great, and she vowed her country will not allow any conspiracy against its people or the Egyptian state. She insisted that pushing Egypt to bankruptcy is unacceptable, because it would plunge her country into a dire state similar to Iraq and Libya.
Shoebat said that if the reports are correct, Turkey appears to play a central role in the alleged conspiracy. He emphasized that Egypt has asserted to the international community that it will not tolerate any attempt to push the country to bankruptcy.
Shoebat’s blog linked to three “very credible sources” that corroborate the report on Gebali’s comments.
Shoebat reported in May that Malik Obama is the executive secretary of the Islamic Da’wa Organization, or IDO, a group created by the government of Sudan, which is considered by the U.S. State Department to be a terrorist state.
In 2010, Malik Obama attended an IDO conference in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. One of the objectives of the IDO is to spread Wahhabist Islam across the African continent.
Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir supervised the conference. Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court on seven counts related to crimes against humanity.
Shoebat asserted the evidence places Malik Obama “in bed with terrorists, working in a terrorist state as an official of an organization created by terrorists.”
Malik’s tax-exempt problems
WND reported in May that funds contributed in the U.S. to a 501(c)3 foundation run by Malik Obama have been diverted to support Malik’s multiple wives in Kenya, an expert on Islamic extremism has charged.
Lois Lerner, the director of the IRS tax-exempt division currently under congressional investigation, signed the letter approving tax-exempt status for the Malik Obama’s Barack H. Obama Foundation.
Lerner, currently on paid executive leave from her IRS supervisory position, took the Fifth Amendment before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on May 22 rather than answer questions on inappropriate criteria used by her IRS department to delay or otherwise deny tax-exempt status for tea party and “patriot” groups.
Shoebat has detailed his allegations in a 22-page investigative report titled “New IRS Scandal: Islamic Extremism and Sex Slaves: Report Reveals Obama’s Relatives Run Charities of Deceit,” published on his website
After a thorough examination of available evidence, Shoebat explained to WND his allegations against the Obama family tax-exempt foundations:
When Malik Obama and Sarah Obama raised money in the United States as the respective heads of foundations claiming to be charities, not only did the Internal Revenue Service illegally grant one of them tax-deductible status retroactively, but these foundations have supported – to varying degrees – illegal operations that acquire funding for personal gain, philandering, polygamy and the promotion of Wahhabism, the brand of Islam practiced by Al-Qaeda.
For the past two years, since long before the current IRS scandals became public, WND has been reporting irregularities in two IRS-approved 501(c)3 organizations operated in the U.S. by Obama’s half-brother and step-grandmother in Kenya.
WND reported in September 2011 the Barack H. Obama Foundation apparently received IRS approval one month after an application was submitted in May 2011. The IRS determination letter June 11, 2011, granted a highly irregular retroactive tax-exempt approval only after the group came under fire for operating as a 501(c)3 foundation since 2008 without ever having applied to the IRS.
In October 2012, WND reported a separate foundation, the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation, created on behalf of Obama’s step-grandmother in Kenya, has transferred funds, 90 percent of which are raised from U.S. individuals and corporations, to send Kenyan students to the top three most radical Wahhabist madrassas in Saudi Arabia.
Since its founding in 2008, the Barack H. Obama Foundation, operating out of a commercial mail drop in Arlington, Va., has solicited tax-deductible contributions on the Internet, listing addresses and telephone numbers both in the U.S. and Kenya, without disclosing the group lacked an IRS determination letter.
In September 2011, the IRS confirmed to WND that the Barack H. Obama Foundation had received a determination letter in June 2011, awarding the group tax-exempt 501(c)3 status retro-actively to 2008
On March 3, 2013, Andrew Malone, reporting for the London Daily Mail, documented that Malik’s youngest wife in Kenya, Sheila Anyano, 35 years his junior, had spent the past two years living with three of Malik’s other wives at the “Barack H Obama Foundation rest and relaxation center,” a restaurant complex that profits from visitors drawn by the family’s connection to the American president.
According to the Daily Mail, members of his extended family in Kenya have accused Malik, a practitioner of Islam and a polygamist, of being a wife-beater and philanderer. Malik is accused of seducing Sheila, the newest of his estimated 12 wives when she was a 17-year-old schoolgirl – a crime in Kenya, where the legal age of consent is 18.
Malone tracked down Sheila’s mother, Mary, who explained to the reporter that Malik Obama had “secret trysts” with the girl after spotting her attending prayers at the mosque he has built in Kogelo, the family’s ancestral home.
Sheila, now age 20, told Ambrose that marrying Malik, now age 55, was the “worst decision” of her life and confirmed that she and Malik kept their marriage “a secret,” because she was 17.
“At first he was good, after he started speaking to me at the mosque,” Sheila told the Daily Mail. “But he has changed. Marrying him has been the biggest mistake of my life. He beats me, but mostly he’s just nasty and quarrelsome.”
Shoebot charged that Malik Obama is abusing non-profit funds.
“There is no evidence to suggest that Malik is building any houses in Kogelo for widows and orphans as claimed,” Shoebat said.
Neither is there evidence that the Mama Sarah Foundation has built any homes for widows, orphans and HIV/AIDS victims.
“The only evidence where monies were spent involves the Barack H. Obama Recreation and Rest Center in Kenya, which housed Malik’s 12 wives in a facility that includes a restaurant and a mosque with a madrassa,” he said.
“While building mosques is legally considered charity, evidence shows the entire funding came directly from entities and individuals from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain,” Shoebat said. “There is nothing of charitable nature to show for all the funds Malik raises from the United States. To date, there is no evidence for any accomplishments toward building homes for orphans, widows and AIDS victims in Kogelo or anywhere else in Kenya.”
Limited financial reporting
An IRS Form 990-EZ required for tax-exempt organizations was filed on May 23, 2011, only days before the IRS determination letter was sent.
The Form 990-EZ appears to have been hand-written by Malik Obama himself, complete with an unorthodox page of calculations evidently included to back up the amounts entered into the form.
The Form 990 reported the foundation had received $24,250 total gross income for 2010, derived from contributions, gifts and grants.
“We were not very successful this year because of limited contributions,” Malik reported on the Form 990. “The Foundation sponsored a Youth Tournement (sic) and embarked on construction of community bridges.”
Malik surfaced during the 2008 presidential campaign, dressed in African garb and holding a photograph of Barack Obama in African garb.
Born in Kenya to Kezia
Born in Kenya, on March 15, 1958, Abongo Malik “Roy” Obama was the first child born to Barack Obama Sr.
The son of Kezia, Obama Sr.’s first wife, Malik was only 18 months old when Barack Obama Sr. arrived in New York Aug. 8, 1959, on a BOAC flight in transit from Kenya to begin his undergraduate studies at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.
Having abandoned Kezia in Kenya, Obama Sr. subsequently married Stanley Ann Dunham, Barack Obama Jr.’s mother, while in Honolulu, according to the account Obama relates in his autobiography “Dreams from My Father.”
Yesterday, in the course of a few hours, according to International Christian Concern, Islamists in Egypt have violently attacked over 20 Christian churches. The deadly violence by Islamists has claimed more than 100 lives, leaving nearly 1000 more wounded. And while interim President Adly Mansour has now declared a nation-wide state of emergency in Egypt, we must ask ourselves, what will it take to protect the religious minorities from this religious cleansing?
Christians have suffered intense persecution ever since the Muslim Brotherhood ascended to power, and many Muslim radicals blame the Coptic Christian community for the Muslim Brotherhood’s recent overthrow. Left unchecked, Muslim radicals could launch a killing spree, initiate a campaign of ethnic cleansing, or – at worst – mass killings. Even a cursory reading of the headlines shows that the Christian community is on the brink of disaster.
Just days after a 10-year-old Christian Egyptian girl was gunned down by Islamists while returning with her pastor from Bible study class, Christians in Egypt fear for their lives as their children, homes, places of worship, and places of business are targeted by Islamists.
International Christian Concern released this today:
Fr. Ibram Tamesy, of the Church of Saint Mary and Anba Ibram in the village of Delga in the Minya province, told ICC that a mob broke into the church and looted the contents, including the food collected for the poor. Then they looted and burned the home of Fr. Angelos, who also serves at the church, and the homes of 17 other Christians in the village.
“The loudspeaker systems from the mosques were being used to tell the Muslims to gather at Ebad El Rahman and defend Islam because many Muslims had been killed at the Rabba and El Nahda sit-in,” Fr. Tamesy said. The mob, further incensed after gathering went on to loot and set fire to the Monastery of St. Mary and its three churches, he reported. The Mar Mina church and a Baptist church, also in the Minya province, were burned in attacks by pro-Morsi supporters.
The Islamists have not stopped at just churches, but have also attacked Christian homes, cars, and Christian Bibles Societies throughout Egypt.
The Good Shepherd Church, monastery, and Christian school were all set ablaze in Suez City. The Bible Society headquarters in Cairo were attacked. In Alexandria, the churches of Saint Maximus and Mar Girgis were burned. The crowd of Morsi supporters “burned the car of the Fr. Mosa and another car owned by a servant in the Church, and, after that, they broke into the Church and burned it and they were chanting Allah Akbar,” Wissa Fawzy, a Christian in Alexandria, told ICC.
On July 3, 2013, when Egypt again saw a revolution to overthrow the Morsi government, Christians and Muslims stood side-by-side demanding that all Egyptians, regardless of their faith, be equally represented in the laws and by the government officials of Egypt. Today, President Barak Obama appropriately condemned the violence against peaceful protesters and recognized that some protestors had attacked churches, but his statement fell short of standing with the Coptic Christians in Egypt who have been the target of violent Islamists. When will world leaders boldly stand against the violent Islamists?
World leaders could take a note from the words of America’s Third President, Thomas Jefferson: “All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”
It is time for us, every citizen of the world, to stand boldly and loudly against the persecution of Christians. Let it not take one more burnt church or the death of one more young child for our hearts to be awakened to the plight of Christians in Egypt. For as Elie Wiesel encourages mankind, “[Swear] never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” Do your part to awaken those whom you know, your family, your friends, your community.
NEW YORK – The son of a jailed Muslim Brotherhood leader in Egypt is claiming his father has evidence that will land President Obama in prison.
The claim came as the Obama administration, with the assistance of Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and the open involvement of the No. 2 man at the U.S. State Department, made a concerted effort to see Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt released.
In an interview with the News Agency Anatolia in Turkey, Saad Al-Shater, the son of imprisoned Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat Al-Shater, said his father “had in his hand” evidence that will put Obama in prison.
In a thinly veiled threat, Saad Al-Shater said a U.S. delegation was sent to Cairo by Obama to press for the release of the imprisoned Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including his father to prevent the release of explosive information.
Arabic-speaking former PLO member Walid Shoebat has translated the report by the Turkish News Agency Anatolia as follows:
In an interview with the Anatolia News Agency, Saad Al-Shater, the son of a Muslim Brotherhood leader, the detained Khairat Al-Shater, said that his father had in his hand evidence that will land the head of United States of America, President Obama, in prison. He stressed that the senior U.S. delegation currently visiting Egypt, knows full well that the fate, future, interests and reputation of their country is in the hands of his father, and they know that he owns the information, documents and recordings that incriminate and would condemn their country. Such documents, he says, were placed in the hands of people who were entrusted inside and outside Egypt, and that the release of his father is the only way for them to prevent a great catastrophe. He stated that a warning was sent threatening to show how the U.S. administration was directly connected. The evidence was sent through intermediaries which caused them to change their attitude and corrected their position, and that they have taken serious steps to prove good faith. Saad also said that his father’s safety is more important to the Americans than is the safety of Mohamed Morsi.
Writing in his blog, Shoebat noted that six different Arabic sources confirmed the interview with Saad Al-Shater and the report of Al-Shater’s claims.
Shoebat said the interview with Saad Al-Shater was Aug. 7, making it likely the reference to the “senior U.S. delegation currently visiting Egypt” was about the trip by McCain, Graham and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns.
On Aug. 6, with interim Egyptian Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei, the former general director of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, McCain and Graham called Khairat Al-Shater and other jailed Muslim Brotherhood leaders “political prisoners.” They told reporters in Cairo that failing to release Muslim Brotherhood prisoners would be “a huge mistake.”
Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, rebuffed the U.S. delegation’s request, telling reporters in Cairo that it constituted an “unacceptable interference in internal politics.”
On Aug. 6, the Associated Press reported the Egyptian government planned to prosecute Khairat Al-Shater and the other imprisoned Muslim Brotherhood leaders on charges of inciting violence last December when Muslim Brotherhood members attacked sit-in protestors outside then-President Mohamed Morsi’s office, resulting in the deaths of 10 people.
ABC News reported that Burns traveled separately late Sunday night, Aug. 4, to the notorious Tora Prison in the middle of Cairo to meet with Khairat Al-Shater, despite claims by the Muslim Brotherhood that Al-Shater refused to meet.
In an Aug. 6 interview with CNN in Egypt, McCain mentioned jailed Khairat Al-Shater, an openly acknowledged Muslim Brotherhood leader, when asked about individuals who could successfully negotiate a future Egyptian government.
Former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova, legal representative for Benghazi whistleblower Mark Thompson, claimed this week that intelligence officers with knowledge of the attack on the Benghazi consulate believe it was was tied to 400 surface-to-air missiles intended for Syrian rebels that U.S. officials feared could be used to shoot down an airliner or attack a U.S. embassy.
Two weeks after the Benghazi attack, WND was the first to report sources claiming the Benghazi compound was an intelligence and planning center the CIA used to recruit and arm Islamic rebels to fight Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
BEIRUT, Lebanon — As foreign fighters pour into Syria at an increasing clip, extremist groups are carving out pockets of territory that are becoming havens for Islamist militants, posing what United States and Western intelligence officials say may be developing into one of the biggest terrorist threats in the world today.
Known as fierce fighters willing to employ suicide car bombs, the jihadist groups now include more than 6,000 foreigners, counterterrorism officials say, adding that such fighters are streaming into Syria in greater numbers than went into Iraq at the height of the insurgency there against the American occupation.
Many of the militants are part of the Nusra Front, an extremist group whose fighters have gained a reputation over the past several months as some of the most effective in the opposition.
But others are assembling under a new, even more extreme umbrella group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, that is merging some Syrians with fighters from around the world — Chechnya, Pakistan, Egypt and the West, as well as Al Qaeda in Iraq, the Sunni insurgent group that rose to prominence in the fight against the American occupation in the years after the 2003 invasion. The concern is that a new affiliate of Al Qaeda could be emerging from those groups.
It was the fear of militants coming to dominate the opposition that caused the United States and its Western allies to hold off providing lethal aid to the Syrian opposition, at least until now. But as a result, counterterrorism analysts say, they lost a chance to influence the battle in Syria. Even Congressional supporters of the C.I.A.’s covert program to arm moderate elements of the Syrian opposition fear the delivery of weapons, set to begin this month, will be too little, too late.
The stakes are high. American intelligence officials said this week that Ayman al-Zawahri, the overall leader of Al Qaeda in Pakistan, has had regular communications with the Nusra Front in Syria, reflecting how favorably the Qaeda leadership views the long-term potential for Syria as a safe haven. Juan Zarate, a former senior counterterrorism official in the George W. Bush administration, said that Syria lay in the center of an arc of instability, stretching from Iran through North Africa, and “in that zone, you may have the regeneration and resurrection of a new brand of Al Qaeda.”
In Syria, the battle lines have hardened in recent months. The Syrian government, backed by Iran and Hezbollah, has seized new momentum and retaken territory in the south and east from the rebels. At the same time, power within the badly fractured opposition, numbering about 1,200 groups, has steadily slipped into the hands of the jihadists based in the northeast, where this week they seized a strategic airport in the area. They also hold sway in the provincial capital of Raqqa.
The idea that Syria could supplant Pakistan as the primary haven for Al Qaeda someday, should the government fall, is a heavy blow to the Western-backed Syrian opposition and its military arm, the Free Syrian Army. It plays directly into the hands of Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, whose government has sought to portray itself as the only alternative to Islamic extremism and chaos, and has made the prospect of full-on American support even more remote than it already was.
Mr. Assad’s argument “began as a fiction during the period of peaceful, unarmed protests but is now a reality” because of Mr. Assad’s own efforts to divide the country as well as the success of the extremists, Hussein Ibish, a senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, wrote in a recent essay that appeared in The National.
In Raqqa recently, a commander of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria sipped coffee after breaking the Ramadan fast, wearing a Pakistani-style outfit. The commander, Abu Omar, was Syrian, a member of a tribe in the area, but he described his movement’s goals as reaching far beyond the country’s borders.
He did not speak of attacking the United States. But he threatened Russia, and he spoke of a broad-based battle against Shiite-led Iran and its quest to dominate the region, and said Sunnis from across the world were justified in flocking to Syria to fight because of the government’s reliance on Shiite fighters from Lebanon and Iraq.
He rejected calls from some in the Syrian opposition to keep the fighting focused inside Syria and aimed at toppling Mr. Assad. “We have one enemy,” Iran, he said, “and we should fight this enemy as one front and on different fronts.”
He also seemed to suggest that Russia would be a legitimate target for its role in supporting Mr. Assad and for its brutal suppression of Muslim militants in the Caucasus.
“Russia is killing Muslims in southern Muslim republics and sends arms and money to kill Muslims in Syria as well,” he said. “I swear by God that Russia will pay a big price for its dirty role in the Syrian war.”
The leader of the Free Syrian Army, Gen. Salim Idris, recently accused the jihadists of working for or receiving aid from the Assad government, not a completely far-fetched proposition, given that Western officials widely believe the Assad government played a major role in funneling Syrians and other foreigners into Iraq during the insurgency there. Some rank-and-file rebels say that government artillery and warplanes attack them fiercely while largely leaving jihadist positions alone.
Free Syrian Army fighters have clashed with jihadist groups in recent weeks over weapons and supplies, and civilian anti-Assad activists have struggled with them over their efforts to impose religious rules on society. The groups have kidnapped and imprisoned dozens of activists.
Yet the lines dividing the Free Syrian Army from jihadist groups are fluid, and the conflicts have not stopped F.S.A. leaders from working with their fighters, whose fierceness on the battlefield is undisputed. That has helped create a divergence between statements by exile opposition leaders rejecting extremists and their ideology and actions by ground commanders eager for any help they can get.
“We are getting big accusations that we are implementing foreign agendas to divide the Syrian rebel groups or we are agents for the Assad regime,” Abu Omar said. “But we are the ones who made the big military operations against the Assad regime. When we fight any military position we get it or die for God’s sake.”
This week, the jihadist group Jaish al-Muhajireen wal Ansar, or the Army of Emigrants and Supporters, led by a fighter from the Caucasus known as Abu Omar al-Shesheni — the Chechen — worked with Free Syrian Army battalions to take the Menagh air base in Aleppo Province after 10 months of trying.
What appeared to turn the battle around, said Charles Lister, an analyst with IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center, were the relentless suicide vehicle bombings on the walls of the base — five or six times in the past two weeks, he said.
After the battle, Col. Abdul Jabbar al-Okaidi, the head of the United States-backed opposition’s Aleppo military council, appeared in a video alongside Abu Jandal, a leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
In camouflage, Colonel Okaidi offered thanks to “our brothers al-Muhajireen wal Ansar and others,” adding: “We’re here to kiss every hand pressed on the trigger.” He then ceded the floor to Abu Jandal and a mix of jihadist and Free Syrian Army leaders, who stood together, each praising his men, like members of a victorious basketball team.
Such cooperation has complicated efforts to isolate the jihadists within the insurgency, where commanders of all political stripes realize they have little choice but to collaborate with any ally available.
“There’s an awful lot of pragmatism on the ground,” Mr. Lister said. “There’s a realization that without extensive coordination on the ground this could go on for years and years or the opposition could be defeated, so no matter what the long-term objective, it might be still worth it in the medium term to coordinate across groups.”
But that same pragmatism, Mr. Ibish said, suggests there is hope that many of the Syrians fighting alongside extremists are not ideologically committed to those groups’ goal of an Islamic state, and could peel away from it if offered an alternative.
The extremist ideology, he said, “runs counter to most traditional culture and lived realities of modern Syria, which is a heterogeneous and typically tolerant society.”
Abu Omar, in Raqqa, laid out his vision for the future: women must cover their hair, but are not required to cover their faces; bars and nightclubs and eating during the Ramadan fast are forbidden.
“Everyone is free in his house but not free to break God’s law in public,” he said “The Shariah law is the best justice, not the Western democracy which gives us bad regimes like Assad’s.”
Anne Barnard reported from Beirut, and Eric Schmitt from Washington. An employee of The New York Times contributed reporting from Raqqa, Syria.