Written by Ryan Mauro
If you are searching for proof of the success of stealth jihad, then look no further than the Islamists’ success in becoming partners with law enforcement agencies eager to reach out to the Muslim community.
Los Angeles should be particularly embarrassed by an exposÃ© by the Investigative Project on Terrorism published on June 1. Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is among the most high-profile defenders of the Muslim Brotherhood’s fronts in the U.S., including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
He stands by the group’s innocence, even though the federal government designated it as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, a front set up by the Muslim Brotherhood to finance Hamas. The FBI subsequently ended its use of CAIR as a liaison, but some in law enforcement, such as Sheriff Baca, believe they know better than the agency. CAIR has honored Baca with an award for his support. Los Angeles County Deputy Sherif Morsi received it on his behalf.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Deputy Chief Michael Downing, who is the Commanding Officer of the Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau, shows some knowledge of the Muslim Brotherhood, but dismisses accusations that it is currently a threat because, in his words, it has “evolved and changed.”
On May 15, 2011, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Muslim Public Affairs Unit held a town hall at the Islamic Center of Southern California, a mosque with Brotherhood origins. It was moderated by the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a group that was founded by Brotherhood ideologues. Tom Trento of The United West held up a copy of Shariah: The Threat to America, authored by top national security experts, and asked if the speakers believe that there is a Muslim Brotherhood presence in Los Angeles County and what is being done about it.
Downing answered the question by conceding that he is “sure” that the Brotherhood is in his county, but did not address its threat potential. Trento approached him after the event and, on videotape, Downing said that “the message is not to demonize the Brotherhood here” because it has “evolved and changed.” He compared it to how there are more moderate and more extreme elements of the Republican and Democratic parties and said it would be wrong to oppose a group like the Muslim Students Association just because it was founded by the Brotherhood.
He then encouraged Trento to study ijtihad, an Islamic concept that permits independent scrutiny of specific interpretations. When Trento responded that, according to mainstream Islamic theology, ijtihad is “closed,” Downing disagreed, only saying, “it’s not.”
The United West’s video of the encounter then quotes the 2011 edition of the Encyclopedia Britanica about ijtihad, confirming that it was declared a thing in the past by the Islamic schools of jurisprudence by 1258 A.D. Downing would later use the incident as an example of those who “want to instill fear in the hearts of the American people because they don’t tell the truth.”Downing’s response isn’t surprising. In 2010, he said, “CAIR is not a terrorist-supporting organization” and condescendingly added that anyone who disagrees with him is an “amateur intelligence officer.” Apparently to Downing, the federal government only consists of amateurs. In 2007, a court filing by the federal government stated, “From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists.” By Downing’s definition, District Court Judge Solis is also an amateur because he ruled that the government provided “ample” evidence tying CAIR to Hamas to uphold the “unindicted co-conspirator” designation.
This problem isn’t limited to California. In March, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy agreed to speak at CAIR-Chicago’s annual fundraiser. Shockingly, a top law enforcement official was fundraising for a group that his government says is a Muslim Brotherhood front tied to Hamas. The event honored Kifah Mustapha, another “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Holy Land trial whose documented involvement with the Brotherhood and Hamas prevented him from becoming the Illinois State Police’s first Muslim chaplain.
Some law enforcement and counter-terrorism personnel have bent the rules to work with CAIR. In October 2010, the FBI field office in New Haven, Connecticut had the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut instruct its personnel in “Islamophobia.” MCCT’s website says CAIR is one of its partners and its leader is a former CAIR spokesperson. The FBI has officially ended using CAIR as a liaison partner, so the FBI field office made sure that the agency was not listed as a sponsor. Two CAIR officials spoke at the training seminar.
There is good reason to be worried about what outside groups may be involved. In October, the FBI said it had brought in outside groups to help oversee the “top-to-bottom review” of its counter-terrorism training materials. On February 8, the FBI Director met with an interfaith coalition about the matter. It included the Islamic Society of North America, a Brotherhood front also designated as an “unindicted co-conspirator” by the government, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Afterwards, an FBI spokesman saidthe agency was “open to the idea” of establishing a committee to review the materials to make sure nothing “offensive” appears, but the groups needed to make a proposal first. Apparently, that proposal was provided because three experts on Islam are overseeing the review. To this day, the FBI refuses to disclose who these experts are.
In October, Department of Homeland Security and the National Counterterrorism Center issued guidelines to all law enforcement agencies for their counter-terrorism training. Any words with an Islamic connection such as “jihad” did not appear in the document. There were a total of nine references. One was a paper written by the Muslim Public Affairs Council. It is one of just two sources that aren’t government websites. Sheriff Lee Baca’s website was also used as a reference.
Our law enforcement agencies need a comprehensive education in what radical Islam is, because those in charge of protecting of us have been fooled into thinking that almost any Islamic group not named “Al-Qaeda” is moderate and worth embracing.
Ryan Mauro is a fellow with RadicalIslam.org, the founder of WorldThreats.com and a frequent national security analyst for Fox News Channel. He can be contacted at