- THE INVESTIGATIVE PROJECT ON TERRORISM - Abha Shankar - NOV 2, 2021 -
Despite more than 100 fatalities inside the United States from Islamist terror attacks since 9/11, and a series of foiled and failed jihadi plots, a new report claims there is no real Islamist terrorist threat in the United States.
The dozens of thwarted jihadist plots, it argues, were made up out of whole cloth to entrap innocent Muslims.
The report further portrays the "War on Terror" as a "War on Islam," an old ploy used by Islamist groups that actually has been shown to radicalize. The report also advises that Muslim Americans "not open the doors of their mosques and community centers to the FBI and law enforcement until entrapment and targeting of communities ends," a long time obstructionist goal of American Islamists.
But the report's objectivity is suspect. One chapter's author, and the executive director of one of its sponsors, the Coalition for Civil Freedoms (CCF), are the adult children of a convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) operative. The PIJ is a terrorist group committed to destroying Israel and creating an Islamic state in its place.
Sami Al-Arian's Turkey-based academic program, the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), was a participant in a "Terror Trap Conference" Oct.18-19 to promote the report. Al-Arian wrote one of the report's chapters. He and his daughter Leena, the CCF executive director, are listed among the report's editors.
Al-Arian served on the PIJ's Shura, or leadership council. But, given the heavy Al-Arian family involvement in the report, it is not surprising to find that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is never mentioned. Instead, Abdullah Al-Arian's chapter portrays his father as a victim of law enforcement targeting.
"The 2003 arrest and subsequent trial of Sami Al-Arian, a university professor, Palestine activist, and civil rights advocate send shockwaves across the American Muslim community due to his prominent role in promoting civic engagement, lobbying, and electoral politics," writes Abdullah Al-Arian, an associate professor of history at Georgetown University's Qatar campus.
Called "a master manipulator" by the federal judge presiding over his case, Sami Al-Arian pleaded guilty in 2006 to conspiring to make or receive contributions of funds, goods or services to or for the benefit of PIJ. He was deported to Turkey in 2015 as part of that plea agreement where he now heads CIGA.
Abdullah Al-Arian also mentions the Hamas financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) in his analysis of "the witch-hunt against American Muslim institutions, and the ways in which they were systemically attacked."
"HLF officers were sentenced to up to 65 years in federal prison, despite the government never providing any evidence that the charitable donations were used to fund violence," he writes.
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