Jihad in America – Cells Already Here, Training Camps

By Denise Simon and Scott W. Winchell

With the surge of terror across the globe and here at home, especially after the Paris “Charlie Hebdos” attack and the kosher market massacre, everyone keeps asking, are they coming or are they already here?

They are here!

In fact, just today an Ohio man, Christopher Lee Cornell (Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah) was arrested by the FBI and was reportedly influenced by the same man who influenced the Kouachi brothers, Anwar al Awlaki and that Cornell also may have known the brothers from online networks:

The FBI has arrested an Ohio man for allegedly plotting an ISIS-inspired attack on the U.S. Capitol, where he hoped to set off a series of bombs aimed at lawmakers, whom he allegedly considered enemies.

Christopher Lee Cornell -– also known as Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah -– was arrested earlier today on charges of attempting to kill a U.S. government official.

Arrest caught on a screen shot - courtesy Heavy.com
Arrest caught on a screen shot – courtesy Heavy.com

Further investigation revealed his intent to attack the U.S. Capitol, and he planned to detonate pipe bombs there and open fire on any employees and officials after the bombs went off, according to government documents.

The FBI and Department of Homeland security issued a bulletin to law enforcement agencies across the country, notifying them of the case.

“The alleged activities of Cornell highlight the continued interest of US-based violent extremists to support designated foreign terrorist organizations overseas, such as ISIL, by committing terrorist acts in the United States,” the bulletin read. “Terrorist group members and supporters will almost certainly continue to use social media platforms to disseminate English language violent extremist messages.”

See the release at Heavy.com and other documents.

Just this past week, even Diane Feinstein, D-CA, the former Chairwoman, and now the Ranking Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said they are. She should know, and and so should the White House. Here is what she said:

“I think there are sleeper cells not only in France but certainly in other countries and, yes, in our own,” she told CNN. “This calls for vigilance. … Hopefully, we can be more active in terms of doing those things which enable us to find terrorists, see who they’re communicating with and to track that.”

With the Caliphate now formed in the Levant, better known as the Islamic State (Also ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) the spread of the threat has expanded and it appears the cell in Paris had roots to Yemen and Syria. In fact, AQAP release a new video today claiming responsibility and that it was years in the making the same day the newest edition of “Charlie Hebdos” hit the news stands. (Sheikh Nasr Ben Ali al-Aanesi spoke on the video.)

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The lure appears to be working well for the master marketing team of al Qaeda and Daesh and the latest word of warning has been sent by officials that more cells may have been activated. We may not immediately because patience has been one of their calling cards but it appears likely that it will be sooner than later here.

Sheikh Nasr Ben Ali al-Aanesi
Sheikh Nasr Ben Ali al-Aanesi

With the Fort Hood Massacre, the Oklahoma Beheading, the Attacks in Canada, the Hatchet Attack in New York, and now the convert in Ohio, we are in a new era and we all had better keep alert.

But we ask, what has been done to secure us to date, especially since we have known about them for years and years right here at home besides this Ohio Muslim convert?

Many cases and studies have been done by those who were aware long ago of the rise of sleeper cells and training camps.

The FBI introduction to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) file on Clarence Smith—aka Clarence 13X—reads only, “Smith was the leader of the ‘Five Percenters,’ a notorious Harlem street gang. He was shot to death in 1969” [1].

Yet, as a lyrical sample from Lord Jamar (a prominent Five Percenter and hip-hop artist) reads in his Greatest Story Never Told, “Allah [Clarence Smith] was assassinated in 1969, that case was never solved. His movement survived him, today it’s known as the Nation of Gods and Earths” [2].

The Five Percenters are just one facet of indigenous Muslim evolution in the United States; others, like Jama`at al-Fuqara’, retain ties to Pakistan and are ideological affiliates of militant Salafist groups such as al-Qa`ida.

This article will examine trends among three predominantly African-American Islamic movements, at least one of which should be considered a domestic terrorism concern for the United States. It also serves to provide counter-terrorism professionals with knowledge enabling them to differentiate terrorist threats from more benign religious groups.

Heffelfinger  illustrates further where some of these groups are and the threat they have “today,” as in 2008, so imagine how much worse it is today:

Critical for intelligence and law enforcement officials is the ability to distinguish non-violent, pietistic or spiritualist movements from Salafist-inspired ones that advocate or practice militancy. Today, the Five Percent Nation is largely leaderless, with various teachers propagating the beliefs of Clarence 13X and poses no serious terrorist threat, although gang activity and criminality is a concern.Islamberg-NY-sign

The Seas of David will, in all likelihood, dissipate and pose no further threat. Such movements, however, may serve at times as a gateway to more conservative—sometimes militant—Salafist groups, such as Jama`at al-Fuqara’.

The Jama`at al-Fuqara’/Muslims of America deserves a more comprehensive treatment, as the group is clearly one of the most glaring domestic terrorism concerns for the United States.(Read more here, it is extensive and worth the read. Our emphasis added.)

Heffelfinger was not the only one by a long shot. As late as 2012 an article in Law Enforcement Today entitled “Informant: Islamic Compounds in America are Training for Jihad” was posted by Martin Mawyer. His introduction speaks volumes:

In Hancock, NY an Islamic community that sits on 80 acres of land has decided to form its own government.  They call their community: The Town of Islamberg.  They have their own mayor, deputy mayor and five town council members.  None of them are elected, of course.

They even boast that their “town” provides departments of education, medical, finance and land development services.

This Islamic compound has truly become a city-state.  Though not recognized as a legitimate township by the City of Hancock, this Islamic community nevertheless enforces its own laws on the “citizens” within its borders.  They do so by using the iron fist of Sharia law.

I interviewed a member of this camp, which sits deep in the Catskills Mountains of upstate New York.  The Islamic group that has established this camp is part a network known as Muslims of the Americas (MOA), which has documented links to Al Qaeda.

MOA has established similar villages in nearly three-dozen locations nationwide, with other prominent camps found in Texas, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, California and Tennessee. (Read more here.)

Anwar al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki

Remember, that interview took place in 2012, where are we today in 2015? Even further back in 2007, another article came out entitled “Red House, Va has radical Islamic terrorist training camp” and you can read the commentary with charges and denials by many including Muslims in Virginia. Read more from Eric Stackleback from 2012 on this case and view his interview.

Many of these reports have been published many times, where is the FBI and the White House? In 2012, World Net Daily posted an article entitled “35 Training Camps Now Operating Inside U.S. – Government does nothing to impede expansion of ‘Soldiers of Allah’ network.”

This is not new, but fortunately of late, many more people are discovering the work done over the years.

In the period between 2006 and now, Stand Up America staff has been part of some of these investigations and financing some of the work investigators performed on others like Adnan al Shukrijumah who was operating in Hamilton, Ontario, and who was just recently killed by Pakistani officials.

Ryan Mauro at the Clarion Project and Brigitte Gabriel’s group Act For America have also done extensive work on exposing the many enclaves, training camps and sights of older crimes that may be related to terror.

A Clarion Project investigation has discovered a jihadist enclave in Texas where a deadly shooting took place in 2002. Declassified FBI documents obtained by Clarion confirm the find and show the U.S. government’s concern about its links to terrorism. The investigation was completed with help from ACT! For America Houston.

The enclave belongs to the network of Muslims of the Americas, a radical group linked to a Pakistani militant group called Jamaat ul-Fuqra. Its members are devoted followers of Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, an extremist cleric in Pakistan.

Be alert America, “see something, say something” applies at all times.

TerroristCells

 


This article was expanded from a cross-post at the Founders Code

 

When is a war not a war? Yemen!

Editor’s Note – When is a war not a war? Nine years of pounding Yemen apparently does not constitute a war. Whether it began as a by-product of the “War On Terror” or the renamed Obama version: “Overseas Contingency Operation”, its still warfare. The armed forces of the USA and our covert CIA have been quite busy under the Obama watch.

How does this jive with the rhetoric prior to Obama taking the helm in 2009? Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan… but NOT Syria…? Assassinations, targeted drone strikes, heavy gunships, naval launches…

Arab spring brings steep rise in US attacks in Yemen

by 

Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Covert US strikes against alleged militants in Yemen have risen steeply during the Arab spring, and are currently at the same level as the CIA’s controversial drone campaign in Pakistan, a new study by the Bureau reveals.

At least 26 US military and CIA strikes involving cruise missiles, aircraft, drones or naval bombardments have taken place in the volatile Gulf nation to date, killing hundreds of alleged militants linked to the regional al Qaeda franchise. But at least 54 civilians have died too, the study found.

In the latest attack, US drones struck three areas of the rebel-held city of Zinjibar on March 22, killing up to 30 al Qaeda-linked militants, according to Yemen intelligence officials. Naval vessels – possibly American – also bombarded the city.

The missile strike ‘targeted vehicles and bases of the al Qaeda group. A lot of people were apparently killed and their vehicles were completely destroyed at the scene’, eyewitnesses told news agency Xinhua.

At least five US attacks – some involving multiple targets – have so far taken place in Yemen this month alone, in support of a government offensive to drive militants from key locations. In comparison, Pakistan’s tribal areas, the epicentre of the CIA’s controversial drone war, have seen just three US drone strikes in March.

The recent surge in attacks appears linked to the appointment of the new president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. In his inauguration speech he called for ‘the continuation of war against al-Qaida as a religious and national duty.’

Despite multiple confirmed reports of American military action in Yemen, the US rarely acknowledges its secret war. A State Department spokesperson, speaking on background terms, would this week say only: ‘I refer you to the Government of Yemen for additional information on its counterterrorism efforts.’

Hundreds killed
A detailed examination of US military activity in Yemen over nine years reveals that most attacks – as many as 35 – have taken place after May 2011, as Arab spring-related protests gripped the country.

Total US attacks 26 – 44 (some multiple) with up to 34 since May 2011
Total killed 275 – 516
Civilians reported killed 54-104

All but one of the strikes have taken place under President Obama, who has taken a personal interest in the Yemen campaign. By the time he came to office al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) had grown to become, in his words, ‘a network of violence and terror’ that had attracted a number of US citizens to its cause, including radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

AQAP even began publishing online propaganda magazines in English, and was behind a number of attempted terrorist attacks against the US, the UK and their allies.

With the CIA heavily engaged in Iraq and Pakistan, the job of crushing AQAP was handed to the Pentagon’s elite Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) – the same unit that had captured Saddam Hussein and would later kill Osama bin Laden.

But from the start, JSOC’s operations were mired in controversy.

Acting on intelligence that an AQAP meeting was taking place in the southern Yemen desert on December 17 2009, JSOC launched at least one cruise missile loaded with cluster bombs at the gathering. A Yemen parliamentary commission later found that 14 alleged militants died in the attack. But so too did 44 civilians.

The massacre the United States won’t admit or deny

A copy of the commission report obtained by the Bureau identifies by name all of the civilians killed, which include five pregnant women and 22 children, the youngest just a year old. Eight families were effectively wiped out, the commission found, although it did not attribute blame to either US or Yemen forces.

A secret massacre
Two years on, the US will neither confirm or deny whether any investigation into those deaths has taken place, or if any compensation has been paid to the families of victims. The Pentagon, Centcom, the State Department and US Senate Armed Services Committee all declined to comment on the matter this week.

A spokesman for Sheikh Himir Al-Ahmar, the commission’s chairman and now Yemen’s deputy speaker, told the Bureau: ‘The families of the victims were indeed paid appropriate compensation by the Yemeni Government (according to the standard of compensations given out to victims in Yemen). The American authorities did not get involved in this process in any way.’

In contrast, affected families of a killing spree carried out by a US soldier in Afghanistan recently received $50,000 (£31,500) for each victim.

The US refusal to acknowledge the attack is undermined by a secret diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks revealing that then-Centcom chief General David Petraeus – now director of the CIA – and Yemen’s president and prime minister at the time, Ali Abdullah Saleh had sought to hide the US’s role in the incident.

According to the secret cable, ‘[President] Saleh lamented the use of cruise missiles that are “not very accurate” and welcomed the use of aircraft-deployed precision-guided bombs instead. “We’ll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours,” Saleh said, prompting Deputy Prime Minister Alimi to joke that he had just “lied” by telling Parliament that the bombs in Arhab, Abyan, and Shebwa were American-made but deployed by the ROYG.’

Amnesty International, which carried out its own investigation into the December 2009 attack, said this week that the US failure to investigate credible reports of civilian deaths was troubling.

‘With an increase in such operations in places like Yemen, unless one gets to the bottom of who was killed, why, and what precautions were taken to protect civilians, then there is a risk such mistakes will be repeated in the future,’ said Philip Luther, director of Amnesty’s Middle East programme.

There have been other Pentagon errors too. When its elite Special Forces hit a supposed militant convoy in May 2010, they instead killed the region’s popular deputy governor, Jaber al-Shabwani. That error led to a year-long pause in US attacks, after local tribes strongly protested.

It took the chaos of the Arab Spring to see the US return to the offensive. As Yemen’s people revolted against President Saleh and his cronies, JSOC and CIA drones took to the skies, supplemented by US naval and air assets. President Obama has been fighting an almost unreported war in Yemen ever since.

Yemen’s ramshackle air force
At least 20 US strikes have taken place in Yemen since May 2011, the Bureau understands. The actual number may be as high as 34. But reports are often confused, with the US and Yemen governments unwilling to clarify events.

There are also claims that the Yemen Air Force carries out some precision strikes. Yet an investigation of its capabilities reveals it to be a ramshackle, low-tech outfit, wracked by the recent political unrest.

‘Barely functional’ – why US is likely to be behind Yemen’s precision strikes

Alan Warnes, chief correspondent at defence publication AirForces Monthly, says Yemen’s air force is incapable of precision or night-time attacks: ‘The only aircraft they have capable of night flying would be quite antiquated fighters. I think it’s the Americans who are doing it rather than the Yemenis.’

Recent close co-operation between the CIA and JSOC does appear to be paying off. Some two dozen named Al Qaeda militants and their associates have died since last spring, with the group under almost constant attack. Civilian deaths are also now reportedly rare – although there have been further errors.

Obama’s greatest success in Yemen came on September 30 last year, when two US citizens were among four high-value militants killed. Anwar al Awlaki, the radical preacher, died with Samir Khan, editor of AQAP’s English-language propaganda magazine Inspire.

Days later a follow-up attack killed other militants – but also Awlaki’s 16-year-old son and 17-year-old nephew. AQAP’s ability to speak to an English-language audience was apparently destroyed, possibly terminally. Yet these deaths of American citizens continue to generate significant controversy in the US.