USA Interactive Terror History Map: Mosques, Court cases and Jihadi Activity

ByPamela Geller on August 2, 2010
9 Comments

Terror map

Steve Emerson, head of the Investigative Project, has created a much-needed resource on Islamic terrorism in the USA here. Read this, explore the mosques and understand the fights being waged by concerned Americans against Muslim Brotherhood beachheads under the guise of mega mosque construction.

The
IPT's new interactive terror history map highlights cases of terror
plots, terror financing and other radical activities in the United States
during the past 20 years. Some of them are infamous, including the case of
FortHood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan and the Hamas-supporting Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, both in
Texas.

Others attracted
less notoriety, like the plot by California prison
inmates to attack Jewish and U.S. military
targets.

You'll see three
categories across the top of the map that can be turned off or on, depending on
what you're interested in seeing.

One category
identifies several mosques and Islamic centers. Given today's debates over
mosque construction it is important to be clear about what the map represents.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of mosques in the United States.
We list but a few dozen.

The mosques and
centers listed share one thing in common. It is not that all are radical, and
many have not been involved in criminal activity. Rather, all have had contact
with radical individuals and organizations at some point in the period
covered.

At some
locations, radical views have been espoused, extremists have spoken, or
terrorist acts or groups have been supported.

One institution
was home to an imam convicted of providing support to a U.S. designated
Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). At another mosque, a future mastermind of a successful terrorist plot worshipped alongside
other unknowing congregants. People at one mosque even helped
the future 9/11 hijackers
obtain Social Security numbers and driver's
licenses. At others, imams have espoused rhetoric that is just plain violent.

In some of these
examples, we learned about the activity only through the work of undercover law
enforcement agents, informants and cooperating witnesses who helped root out
extremists, foil terrorist plots and intercept terrorists' financial
transactions.

Established
Islamist groups have heatedly attacked law enforcement officials, casting their
use of informants as part of a plot to set up Muslims. Though a staple of
criminal investigations of all kinds, undercover operations should not breach
the doors of a mosque, they say.

In the case of
Dar Uloom Institute in Pembroke Pines, Florida, an undercover FBI agent foiled a plot
by attendees to blow up a nearby energy facility. One individual who attended
the mosque regularly, Imran Mandhai, recruited another mosque attendee, Shueyb
Mosaa Jokhan, to carry out the plot. Both men pleaded guilty to conspiring to
destroy property affecting interstate commerce. The FBI informant's work in this
mosque uncovered another lead. Mandhai told the undercover agent that another
man who attended the mosque, Adnan El-Shukrijumah, was a potential recruit for Osama bin
Laden's plans to destroy more targets in South
Florida
.

Shukrijumah was
recently indicted in the ongoing prosecution of a subway bomb plot in New York
City
.

Another
informant's work in a Brooklyn mosque led to the conviction of Mohammad Ali Hasan Al-Moayad for conspiring
to providing support to Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization. Al-Moayad
bragged to an FBI informant about his work providing money, recruits and
supplies to Hamas. According to the informant, Al-Moayad claimed that he
received money for jihad from collections at Al Farouq mosque in Brooklyn, but officials were not sure that those giving
money knew it would go to terrorists.

A cooperating
witness at Dar us-Salaam Mosque in Seattle, Washington helped
FBI agents nab Oussama Kassir, whom they suspected was trying to establish a
terrorist training camp in nearby Bly, Oregon.
The witness described Kassir's travels to Bly to inspect property
designated to house the camp. Kassir also told the witness that he had trained
for jihad in Afghanistan. In May 2009, Kassir was
found guilty of providing material support to Al
Qaeda.

Despite these
examples, leaders of national Islamist organizations have balked at the use of
informants. This message was made crystal clear by Hussam Ayloush, executive director of
the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – Los
Angeles
last year at an Anaheim, California
mosque:

"We're here
today to say our mosques are off limits. Our Koran is off limits. Our youth, who
they [the FBI] try to radicalize, are off limits. Now is the time to tell them,
'We're not going to let this happen
anymore.'"

On Monday, a
jury in New
York
convicted two men who plotted to blow up fuel tanks at JFK
airport. One of the conspirators planned to use a bank account for his mosque to
store money for the plot. An informant played a key role in taping the
conspirators discuss their plans and motivations.

These examples
do not serve as a green light for the government to launch unconstrained
investigations into Muslim communities, but rather show that Islamic religious
institutions, just like any other institutions, are vulnerable to having contact
with radical individuals and organizations.

FBI Informants in
Mosques

In 2009,
tensions between Islamist groups and the FBI came to a head when a coalition of
organizations announced they considered cutting off ties with the FBI. One
reason cited by that coalition, the American Muslim Task Force (AMT),
was concern that the FBI is unfairly targeting American mosques for
investigation.

The Muslim
American Society (MAS) issued a press
release
reaffirming the AMT coalition's concerns regarding the "Infiltration
of mosques and systematic manipulation of Muslim religious affairs," and the
"Use of agent provocateurs to trap unsuspecting Muslim
youth."

MAS Freedom
Foundation leader Ibrahim Ramey said that, while his group rejects
terrorism:

"…we also want
law enforcement to understand that this should not be a pretext for demonizing
an entire community or trying to turn the community against
itself…"

Ayloush is one
of the FBI's most outspoken critics. He has claimed that the FBI is "paying convicted felons to
'infiltrate' mosques to radicalize Muslim youths and instigate talks about
terrorism." In an interview with Southern California Public Radio, Ayloush said
the FBI has been "hiring shady characters and individuals to try to instigate
against the Muslim community. And instigate acts of violence to ruin the
reputation of the Muslim community."

At Masjid Omar
Al Farouk in 2009, Ayloush reminded his audience that, "Just because there are
bad apples, there are bad apples in our community, there are bad apples in the
FBI, we should not start suspecting each other."

A new set of FBI
guidelines issued in 2008 have been at the center of debate over informants.
Critics claim the guidelines allow the FBI to send informants in without any
purpose or predicate. The guidelines are stricter than detractors
describe.

Current and
former FBI officials also argue that the guidelines leave no room for the types
of unwarranted investigations into mosques described by
critics.

"Sending an
asset into a mosque is not considered lightly, even in today's world," said
Robert Blitzer, former Chief of the FBI's Domestic Counterterrorism Planning
Section. Informants go where the suspects go:

"It really boils
down to this, if the mosque is being used by individuals and groups who are the
subjects of full counterterrorism investigations then the FBI has the authority
to collect intelligence on the activities of the group or person while in the
mosque."

Blitzer's
assessment is pretty close to one given by
current FBI Director Robert Mueller in 2009:

"We [the FBI]
don't investigate places, we investigate individuals. To the extent that there
may be evidence or other information of criminal wrongdoings, then we will …
undertake those investigations."

Steve Pomerantz,
former assistant director of the FBI, told the IPT that some informants may not
follow their handlers' very detailed instructions despite the guidelines.
"That's the way it's supposed to work," he said, referring to the guidelines.
"Can it break down? Yes, if the informant doesn't follow the
instructions."

The FBI devotes
a lot of time and resources to try to prevent these issues. Blitzer described
"stringent vetting processes and procedures" to make sure that the information
received from informants is reliable:

"These processes
include many steps and tests, background investigations, and constant checking
and double checking of information provided against records and other forms of
reporting including human and technical source, other agency reporting, and
foreign agency reporting."

Informants
provide critical help for "the intelligence community [to] understand the
intentions and actions of our enemies," said Blitzer. "Without them, we would be
partially blind."

Pomerantz
described informants as "the single most effective and useful investigative
tool" and stressed that "a lack of [human intelligence] will only lead to more
bad things happening."

Click here to take a look at the updated IPT terror history map.
You'll see plenty of cases in which law enforcement stopped bad things from
happening and a few instances in which terrorists still were able to
strike.

Stay on top of what's really happening. Follow me on Twitter here. Like me on Facebook here.

Print This Post Print This Post

Disclamer

Comments at Atlas Shrugs are unmoderated. Posts using foul language, as well as abusive, hateful, libelous and genocidal posts, will be deleted if seen. However, if a comment remains on the site, it in no way constitutes an endorsement by Pamela Geller of the sentiments contained therein.