Posts tagged ‘Islamic Jihad’
BY: November 3, 2015
URL of the original posting site: http://freebeacon.com/national-security/congress-moves-to-label-muslim-brotherhood-a-terrorist-group
The legislation outlines the Brotherhood’s long history of sponsoring terrorism and outlines congressional support for it to be designated a global terrorist outfit. The bill also would force Secretary of State John Kerry to explain why the Obama administration has been hesitant to label the Brotherhood a terrorist group.
The Brotherhood’s political wing has been banned in Egypt, where affiliates of the organization overthrew the government and then violently cracked down on its opposition, the United States has avoided labeling the organization a sponsor of terrorism.
Should the State Department refuse to move forward with the designation, the bill would require it to provide a justification for this policy, according to the bill.
Multiple House lawmakers spearheaded a similar effort last year, but the bill failed to become law.
This time around, Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) is heading the legislation in the Senate, while Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R., Fla.) is handling the House version of the bill, sources said.
“We have to stop pretending that the Brotherhood are not responsible for the terrorism they advocate and finance,” Cruz told the Free Beacon. “We have to see it for what it is: a key international organization dedicated to waging violent jihad. Since the Obama administration refuses to utter the words’”radical Islamic terrorism,’ and Congress owes it to the American people to tell them the truth about this threat.”
The bill also helps combat the notion that Brotherhood is a peaceful political group, Cruz said.
“This bill puts the lie to the notion that the Muslim Brotherhood is a peaceful political organization that can be a legitimate partner for America,” the lawmaker said. “In 2008 the Justice Department successfully prosecuted the largest terrorism-financing trial in American history arguing that the Muslim Brotherhood directed U.S. affiliates such as the Holy Land Foundation to provide ‘media, money and men’ to Hamas. That support was used for terrorist attacks against Americans and our allies in the Middle East. When they are capable they will try to do the same thing here.”
The bill, which includes a lengthy history of the Brotherhood’s links to radical terrorist leaders and violent incidents, concludes that “the Muslim Brotherhood meets the criteria for designation as a foreign terrorist organization.”
It would require the State Department and other agencies to determine whether the Brotherhood officially meets the requirements to be designated under U.S. law as a terrorist organization.
However, “if the Secretary of State determines that the Muslim Brotherhood does not meet the criteria,” it must submit to Congress “a detailed justification as to which criteria have not been met,” according to the bill.
Muslim Brotherhood affiliates as well as the group’s members have been listed as sponsors of terrorism in the past by the U.S. government. The terrorist group Hamas, a longtime Brotherhood affiliate, has been sanctioned for some time.
The organization garnered international headlines after its rise to power following a coup in Egypt that took down its longtime former leader. While in power, the Brotherhood cracked down on opponents and waged violent campaigns against Christians and others who opposed the group’s radical ideology.
Five countries—Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Russia—already consider the Brotherhood a terrorist organization. Israel, Canada, and the United Kingdom are examining the possibility of designating it a terrorist organization as well.
Lawmakers such as Cruz maintain that the Brotherhood poses a direct threat to U.S. national security, though the Obama administration has held meetings with the organization’s representatives.
A senior member of the Brotherhood was hosted at the White House last year, while other representatives of the group have been granted entrance to the United States. Senior U.S. officials have warned in the past that the Brotherhood both in the United States and overseas have backed terrorist acts. “I can say at the outset that elements of the Muslim Brotherhood both here and overseas have supported terrorism,” said Robert Mueller, the former director of the FBI, during testimony in 2011.
Other officials have explained that terror groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and al Qaeda can all trace their roots back to the Muslim Brotherhood and its leaders.
Cruz has also led congressional efforts to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps an official state sponsor of terrorism.
That bill, submitted at the end of September, would likely mitigate the impact of sanctions relief provided to Iran under the recently inked nuclear deal.
“Branches of the [Revolutionary Guard Corps] have murdered hundreds of Americans,” Cruz said in a statement at the time. “They have attacked our allies, notably Israel. They have provided material support for other designated terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Yet for years the United States has sanctioned [Revolutionary Guard Corps] entities while leaving the organization itself untouched.”
Among the forms of slaughter that have become commonplace in Syria’s civil war, crucifixion may be no more brutal than barrel bombs or sarin gas attacks. But the revival of an ancient form of torture is one sign of what life is like under the rule of one of Syria’s powerful Islamist factions. And it’s an indication that, despite years of public hand-wringing in the West over Syria’s bloody and rapid decline, the country is continuing to plummet into new depths of the abyss.
Below the photo of a crucified body, the message on a jihadist Twitter account reads, “We just executed 7 spies trying to plant bombs on cars of the ikhwa. Massive turnout.” The person behind the account, which is not being linked here to prevent driving traffic to a jihadist site, claims to be a member of the Islamic State in Iraq and the ash-Sham (ISIS), an Islamist group that was repudiated by al Qaeda in early 2014, in part for being so extremist that they became a “liability to the al-Qaeda brand,” according to Aaron Zelin, a jihadi-watcher at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
One of the earliest mentions of the crucifixions in Raqqa came from Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, a student at Oxford University and a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum. Al-Tamimi reported the executions and posted a photo of one of the crucified men 4 minutes before the tweet from the self-identified ISIS account. Given that the account claiming to be affiliated with ISIS posted its tweet only minutes after Al-Tamimi’s, and used similar wording without offering any new details, it may have come from someone trying to falsely imply a personal involvement in the executions.
The dead man in the photo hangs limply from a makeshift crucifix; blood stains the wooden plank to which his outstretched arms are bound. The black stripe of a blindfold covers his eyes. A young boy stands feet from the strung-up body, at the front of a crowd gathered around the cross.
Another photo of a different man’s crucifixion shows a similar scene. In that image too, a young boy stands only feet from a lifeless corpse bound to a cross and publicly displayed.
It’s unclear whether those killed belonged to pro-regime factions or were members of other anti-Assad Islamist groups that have been warring with ISIS for control in Syria.
The details surrounding the photos have not yet been verified but the founder of a group called “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered,” Abu Ibrahim Alrquaoui, claims that he was present at the crucifixions when they occurred and took the photos. Little is known about Alrquaoui.
Images of the crucifixion have been spreading over social media since Tuesday morning, pushed out both by anti-ISIS accounts to show the group’s brutality, and by proud members of ISIS who view the public crucifixions as a sign of their strength and an effective recruiting tool.
One jihadist twitter account commented on the crucifixion, ‘LOL become new false jesus.’ Another replied, “the spy next to him started urinating as soon as we tied him up.’
Congratulatory messages quickly appeared beneath the original tweet announcing the executions in Raqqa and displaying the crucifixion. Another jihadist Twitter account, fluent in both English and Internet-speak, responded to the photo with gloating congratulations and a quip about the image of the murdered man, “lol become new false jesus.” Egged on, the original poster replied “the spy next to him started urinating as soon as we tied him up, about 10 minutes after he was killed.”
Raqqa, where the crucifixions reportedly occurred, was the first Syrian province the Assad regime lost to the rebels when ISIS took control of the area in 2013. Since planting the black flag of extremist Islam, ISIS has placed Raqqa under its repressive rule. Earlier this year, the small Christian community remaining in Raqqa received an ultimatum from ISIS leaders demanding that they pay a tax and submit to a set of prescriptive rules in exchange for a guarantee of their safety. In an official statement ISIS claimed to have met with Raqqa’s Christian leaders and presented them with three choices: conversion to Islam, accepting the restrictions placed on them, or death.
The executions reported to have taken place on Tuesday were not the first crucifixions carried out by ISIS since it took control of Raqqa. They were only the first after this year’s Easter celebration. Last month, the group publicly crucified an accused thief.
The crucifixions appear to document ISIS’s barbaric idea of justice and the group’s use of terrorism, staging brutal symbolic acts of violence, to maintain the complete obedience of the populace under its rule. The crucifixions may be disturbing to Western eyes because of their Biblical resonance. But the gruesome scene may be even more symbolically potent to the Muslim residents of Raqqa as a message about what happens to those that ISIS judges against.
Any one individual victim’s death is final. But the image of bodies hanging on crosses in the center of town serves as ongoing reminder about ISIS’s power and a warning.
CORRECTION: This story misidentified the origin of a tweet and attributed it to an ISIS member when it actually came from Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, a student at Oxford University who has no affiliation with ISIS. We regret the error.
With persecution against Christians increasing in African nations and other places worldwide where Islam is advancing, an American pastor is calling black churches and others to join together to raise voices of opposition.
Stephen Broden of the Fair Park Bible Fellowship Church in Dallas is organizing a rally in his city next month under the banner of Americans Against the Persecution of Christians in Muslim Countries.
The coalition says it’s “committed to stopping the genocide of Christians in many Muslim countries.”
A march is scheduled to begin May 17 at 2 p.m. at City Hall Plaza in front of Dallas City Hall.
Among the speakers at the Dallas event are Rev. William Owens Jr., author and Jihad Watch founder Robert Spencer, author and Rescue Christians founder Walid Shoebat and counter-terrorism expert David Gaubatz, author of “Muslim Mafia,” published by WND Books.
But the coalition wants ministers of all denominations to join in mass protest marches in all major American cities to “break the politically-correct conspiracy of silence which has concealed this immense crime against humanity.”
Broden said the coalition is marching “in the footsteps and spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” deriving its core inspiration from his admonition to confront evil openly.
“Our lives begin to end on the day that we become silent about things that matter,” King said.
Broden said what matters is that more than 100,000 Christians are murdered every year for their faith, according to estimates substantiated by the Vatican and the Center for the Study of Global Christianity.
In Africa, as WND has reported, the jihadist group Boko Haram continues to slaughter Christians in Nigeria in its effort to establish Islamic law. Sudan has been the scene of atrocities against Christians for decades. An estimated 1.5 million Christians have been killed in the genocidal campaigns carried out by Muslims from the north since 1984.
The international group Open Doors recently stated that nine out of the 10 countries cited for the worst Christian persecution are Muslim.
Atrocities against Christians by Islamic jihadists also have been carefully catalogued by Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, Human Rights Watch and many other respected humanitarian organizations.
The coalition seeks to “challenge the conscience of all Americans to oppose and defeat a murderous religious tyranny, to rally once more to the sacred principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which are the birthright of all men and women, and which must now be guaranteed to Christians in the Muslim world.”
The coalition pointed out that the persecution of Christians has become so horrific in the Middle East that several ancient Christian sects are in danger of extermination.
The Copts are fleeing Egypt by the thousands as churches are being burned to the ground and women and children violated. In Syria, Malakite Christians in Syria are facing extinction amid a jihad by the rebel forces seeking to establish Islamic law in the country.