Imran Awan Alleged to Have Used His Position to Influence the Pakistani Government

According to a report by the Daily Caller, former Democratic IT aide, Imran Awan, used his position as a congressional IT aide to to pressure local police to drop fraud charges against his father for writing seven fraudulent checks during the course of multiple land purchases.

One of the victims, Mohammad Abid, claimed that the reason the authorities dropped the charges is because Ashraf Awan’s son, Imran “had easy access to the corridors of power”. Abid further alleged that Regional Police Officer (RPO), Ahmed Raza Tahir, was backing Imran and his father.

According to DAWN, sources stated that Imran was using his political influence to influence the police to charge those who had filed complaints against his father, even leading to the arrest of Asim Sheikh, the attorney representing the complainants.

It was further alleged that, “’power muscles’ in the federal capital as well as in the provincial capital had phoned the local police to lend all sorts of help to the US national and his father.”

According to a Democratic IT aide, Imran told him that he had persuaded former White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, to intervene in the matter.

Imran was also said to have been sending money and gifts to government officials in Pakistan, and received protection from Pakistani police. The Daily Caller further reports that Imran was also sending IT equipment to Pakistan during the same period of time in which fraudulent purchase orders for that equipment were filed, and in which over $120,000 of congressional equipment was signed away by the chief of staff for Democratic Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY).

This is troubling, not only because it shows how Awan was able to influence high-ranking political figures in the U.S. to intervene in he and his family’s personal matters, but it further shows that Imran was able to use his position to influence high-ranking Pakistani government officials as well.

Because Imran and his brothers had access to some of the most important, classified information relating to our national security, and had attempted to wire $283,000 from the Congressional Federal Credit Union to a bank account in Pakistan, it begs the question: Were they selling our secrets to a foreign country known for harboring the likes of Osama bin Laden?

Lawfare, American Property Rights versus Muslim Supremacy

(Henrico VA ) The Wright Scoop launches book Lawfare, American Property Rights versus Muslim Supremacy.

Across the Nation, battle occur between Islamic entitlement and enforcement of American civil liberties and property rights. One such battle is occurring in exurban Henrico County in central Virginia between legacy American property rights and expansion of the Islamic Center of Richmond (ICR).

This battle is not about freedom to worship protected under the First Amendment or federal laws granting exemption waivers from local land zoning laws. It is about abuse of the courts through lawfare to create a Muslim preserve in Central Virginia through force majeure, harassment and intimidation.

Lawfare, American Property Rights versus Muslim Supremacy

As Wright’s book documents, criminal and civil court proceedings have revealed activities by those associated with Henrico County VA and the Islamic Center of Richmond to be more based on a political agenda; then, theology or laws and regulation. As observed by others:

“Protecting religious freedom does not mean permitting people to violate the law in the name of religious freedom. Religious freedom remains freedom to believe, but not a freedom to act in violation of facially neutral laws. For many years people defended racist laws as being required by their religion. But religion should not grant one the right to ignore the law. Jefferson advised us that if a neutral law required action that violated a person’s religious belief that person had to abide by the law. We are a nation of laws after all.” Christopher Peace, delegate Hanover County for VA General Assembly

“Any adverse decision reached by a jury trial is not a victory for freedom of religious practice. Instead, it is a victory for lawfare tactics by local Muslim leadership at the Islamic Center of Richmond who seek to create a Sharia compliant enclave at the cost of local residents in Hoehns Lakeview Farms.” Jerry Gordon

“I challenge you to acquire an understanding:  learn why a peaceful quiet life-style has changed in Sylvia’s beautiful part of an otherwise crazy world,” Shu Bartholomew

About the Author

Sylvia Hoehns Wright, the present-day caretaker for her family’s 7th generational property, credits the legacy of a rural Virginia childhood and Quaker lifestyle belief – view self as caretaker, not owner of property as the source of a commitment to protect her family’s generational property.

For details of Wright’s experience, acquire a copy of Lawfare, American Property Rights versus Muslim Supremacy at Sylvia’s publisher or view video Living in Fear  or review GoFundMe – Hoehns Lakeview Farms .

Wright is presently working with Advocacy for Economic Freedom to recover and ensure the stability of her rights. Educate yourself; and make a choice to ‘stand with’, join Wright and her community in an effort to hold governmental leaders accountable.


Lawfare in Henrico County Virginia and Living in Fear

Destruction of Road Signs

Across the Nation, the Islamic Movement is quietly, community by community, conquering America. How?

Elected officials defend and promote the jihadist. In fact, in many cases, it is the Department of Justice (DOJ) and state governments that have done their best to accommodate Muslims even when the supported Muslim community is waging Civilization Jihad, lawfare, against an affected location.

Such a battle is occurring in exurban Henrico County in central Virginia between legacy American property rights and expansion of the Islamic Center of Richmond (ICR). In addition to legal harassment, the community of Hoehns Lakeview Farms has experienced numerous acts of criminal violence including death threats. For details, link and view a video Living in Fear, (see video below).

Seeking protection for her community, ‘dominant landowner’ Sylvia Hoehns Wright solicited help from Christopher Peace, delegate Hanover County for VA General Assembly who influenced the enactment of an antiSLAPP amendment effective July 1, 2016 which not only protected Wright’s community but all state of Virginia residents.

So, what can you do? Make a choice to ‘stand with’, join Wright and her community in an effort to hold governmental leaders accountable.  Educate yourself, review GoFundMe – Hoehns Lakeview Farms,  .

As delegate Christopher Peace says, “Protecting religious freedom does not mean permitting people to violate the law in the name of religious freedom. Religious freedom remains freedom to believe, but not a freedom to act in violation of facially neutral laws. For many years people defended racist laws as being required by their religion. But religion should not grant one the right to ignore the law. Jefferson advised us that if a neutral law required action that violated a person’s religious belief that person had to abide by the law. We are a nation of laws after all.”

Lawfare, American Property Rights versus Muslim Supremacy

Living in Fear,

GoFundMe – Hoehns Lakeview Farms,

America at War: Let Us Reclaim Our Independence Day

Understanding the Threat

Tomorrow – Tuesday – is July 4, 2017.  It is America’s anniversary of declaring its independence from tyranny and oppression.

The first war America fought after the Revolutionary War was the war against the muslim states – the Barbary States.  Now, in 2017, America is again at war with Islam.  Unlike when President Thomas Jefferson sent Marines to Tripoli, today the enemy is not only on some far off shore.  The Islamic Movement operates inside the United States and has insinuated itself into our power structure.  It infects our education system, blinds our clergy, walks hand in hand with our willingly seditious media, and wages war in many ways in which average Americans remain unaware.

Continue reading “America at War: Let Us Reclaim Our Independence Day”

US Government’s Inward Focus Blinds It To The Outward Threat

Civilization JihadCivilization Jihad by Our Own Hands

Understanding the Threat

“The duty of the muslim citizen is to be loyal to the Islamic State”

What Islam is All About, most widely used text book in U.S. Islamic junior high schools

Until the United States makes an affirmative decision to identify our enemy, know the enemy’s doctrine and strategy, and defeat the enemy, America will continue to lose ground in this war and eventually lose the Republic.

Last week’s UTT article “No Wider Plot” detailed the failure of U.S. officials to identify the Global Islamic Movement and its doctrine – sharia – as the basis for which all of the Islamic attacks around the world must be analyzed.  With that in mind, today we are going to unpack one way the enemy’s strategy is keeping U.S. leaders focused on everything but the problem.

The Global Islamic Movement’s key strategy in the West is “Civilization Jihad” by OUR hands.  That means they are waging a war using all means possible – combat power, political warfare, propaganda, economic warfare, cultural warfare, spiritual warfare, and the like.  There is a full-blown insurgency underway in America to destroy the United States from within (by OUR hands) using our leaders to do our enemy’s bidding.

When the United States Department of State wrote the constitutions for Iraq and Afghanistan creating Islamic republics under sharia (Islamic law) – thus fulfilling Al Qaeda’s objectives in those regions – that was Civilization Jihad by our hands.  Whether our leaders understood this or not is irrelevant from the enemy’s perspective.

by our own hands

In the wake of a terrorist attack or a threat to the homeland, the desired course of action the enemy wants the U.S. government to take is to call for more money, authority, manpower, technology or anything else that keeps the focus off Islam.  The enemy wants our resources depleted and wants us looking inward for our failures instead of outward at them.  Civilization Jihad by OUR hands.

Jihadi attacks in Ft Lauderdale, Denver, New York, San Bernardino, Little Rock, Chattanooga, Orlando, Ft Hood, Columbus, Freemont, Minneapolis, and cities all over America are not happening because of a lack of the federal government’s legal authority, technology, money, or anything else.

These attacks are happening because the U.S. government denies the threat comes from within the Islamic community by people who are following the teachings of Islam.  The attacks are happening because jihadis are being protected by the Islamic community, and supported by the massive Muslim Brotherhood/Tabligi Jamaat network inside the United States which the federal government refuses to investigate and destroy.

This problem is further exacerbated when it can be demonstrated the exclusive “outreach partner” at the State Department, FBI, CIA, DHS, national security staffs, and elsewhere are suit-wearing jihadis – primarily Muslim Brotherhood leaders – who our leaders consider “okay” so long as they are non-violent now.

So long as the U.S. government fails to dismantle the Muslim Brotherhood/Tabligi networks here, there will continue to be an increase in domestic attacks with more American deaths, an increase in jihadi ideology being spread inside the United States, and muslims will continue to move towards their treasonous and seditious objective of overthrowing the U.S. government and replacing it with an Islamic State.

This is why UTT trains local and state law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and others how to proactively locate jihadis in their areas, map out the jihadi networks, and investigatively use all means available to take the fight to this enemy.

This war will be won or lost at the local level by local police and the citizens who support them.


UTT works diligently to provide this information and these techniques to local and state officials because the federal government is failing to do its duty.

To get information about UTT’s training programs for law enforcement, prosecutors, tactical teams, and others, please visit our website at or contact us at [email protected]

About JG

John Guandolo is a US Naval Academy graduate, served as an Infantry/Reconnaissance officer in the United States Marines and is a combat veteran, served as a Special Agent in the FBI from 1996-2008, and was recruited out of the FBI by the Department of Defense to conduct strategic analysis of the Islamic threat. He is the President and Founder of Understanding the Threat (UTT).

NY State Education Department Promoted Lesson Plan Teaching Students to Sympathize with Islamic Jihad Suicide Bombers

NY State Education Department promoted lesson plan teaching students to sympathize with Islamic jihad suicide bombers


No one particularly cared about this. But imagine what the outcry would have been if the New York State Education Department had promoted a lesson plan teaching students to oppose jihad terror and discussing its ideological roots in Islamic texts and teachings.


“N.Y. promoted, covered up lesson plan teaching students to sympathize with Islamic suicide bombers,” by Justin Haskins, The Blaze, May 7, 2017 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

On April 12, The Blaze reported the Public Broadcasting Service has been for more than decade featuring a lesson plan that instructs students to be more sympathetic to the plight of Islamic terrorists in Palestine. The plan, titled “Dying to be a Martyr,” features, among other things, video interviews with Islamic terrorists who tell viewers why their attacks on Israelis are justified. There are no instructions in the lesson plan for teachers to denounce these views and no videos are featured showing the Israeli response.

Among the other biased aspects of the lesson plan are instructions for teachers to “Check for understanding by asking students to respond to the focus question. (Mohanned, feels he would rather die and by a martyr than live his life, sees his life as hollow—in contrast he sees Israelis as happy, going out, having fun, traveling.) Ask your students why Mohanned may feel that way (Answers may include: Palestinians have less land, fewer privileges, cannot come and go as they please.)”

A new investigation into the lesson plan and its origins show the plan was developed in New York state and was, until just a couple of weeks ago, promoted by the New York State Education Department. Following a request for comment from state officials, NYSED abruptly altered its website without a comment, essentially covering up the fact the website ever contained the “Dying to be a Martyr” material.

On a taxpayer-funded NYSED website for public school history and geography teachers, NYSED lists numerous videos and books in a section titled “Resources for Teachers.” Among those items listed is a video titled “Story of Islam: A History of the World’s Most Misunderstood Faith.” The “Dying to be a Martyr” lesson plan was also listed, and it appears it was the only full lesson plan listed in that section, which contains 40 items.

The lesson plan is also featured by, a website belonging to the WNET-TV network, the PBS affiliate for New York City and the areas immediately surrounding the city. It appears the New York PBS affiliate is the producer of the lesson plan. The author of the plan is a long-time public school teacher in upstate New York.

An investigation by The Blaze reveals the teacher who authored “Dying to be a Martyr” is still teaching at Ballston Spa High School, a public school in Ballston Spa, New York, located in Saratoga County. At Ballston Spa, the teacher leads courses covering world history for 9th and 10th graders. A review of classroom notes posted to the teacher’s website shows she covers the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in great deal in her course. Among the many questions students are asked to answer are “What is Hammas’ [sic] view ?” and “How were Palestinian refugees treated?”…

“America Under Siege: Soviet Islam” New Film and a Must See


“Only a coalition of Islamists and Marxists can destroy the United States.” Ilyich Ramírez Sánchez, AKA Carlos the Jackal

Soviet Islam is the second episode in the five-part America Under Siege webseries releasing over the course of 2017. Each episode investigates the growing influence of revolutionary Marxists and their allies in different sectors of American society.

When the Soviet Union failed to eradicate religion, it quickly changed tactics. After World War II, Soviet Communists forged alliances with unlikely partners – radical Islamists and Middle Eastern nationalist dictators. Beginning in the Cold War and continuing through to today, the Kremlin has armed, trained, and supported these Islamists and dictators to advance a frightening goal: subverting their shared American enemy.

Those radicals became a domestic threat in the 1960s. Religious extremists like the Nation of Islam co-opted Soviet ideology to agitate American institutions and disrupt democracy. For the Soviets, the intent was to make the U.S. ungovernable through organized protest and violence. But while the Cold War may be over, the threat from the Kremlin is now more serious than ever. Continue reading ““America Under Siege: Soviet Islam” New Film and a Must See”

New York Times publishes op-ed by convicted jihad murderer, calls him a “Palestinian leader”

But would the New York Times ever publish an op-ed by a foe of jihad terror who spoke honestly about the terrorists’ motivating ideology? Don’t be silly. That would be “Islamophobic.”

“New York Times Publishes Op-Ed by Convicted Terrorist, Describes Him as a ‘Palestinian Leader,’” by Alex Griswold, Washington Free Beacon, April 17, 2017:

The New York Times published an op-ed Monday written by a convicted terrorist, without informing readers that he is serving five life sentences in prison for helping murder five people and launch a failed suicide bombing.

The op-ed, titled “Why We Are on Hunger Strike in Israel’s Prisons,” was penned by Marwan Barghouti and appeared both online and in the print edition of the International New York Times. The Times author bio described Barghouti as “a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian.

“Having spent the last 15 years in an Israeli prison, I have been both a witness to and a victim of Israel’s illegal system of mass arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners,” Barghouti writes. “After exhausting all other options, I decided there was no choice but to resist these abuses by going on a hunger strike.”

Throughout the op-ed, Barghouti only vaguely alludes to the reason he is in prison.

“Israel has tried to brand us all as terrorists to legitimize its violations, including mass arbitrary arrests, torture, punitive measures, and severe restrictions,” he writes. “As part of Israel’s effort to undermine the Palestinian struggle for freedom, an Israeli court sentenced me to five life sentences and 40 years in prison in a political show trial that was denounced by international observers.”

In reality, Barghouti was sentenced in 2004 to five consecutive life sentences for masterminding a series of terrorist attacks on Israeli police and civilians, including a Greek Orthodox priest. Barghouti was also found responsible for a failed suicide bombing that ended up killing the terrorists instead.

Despite his claim of a “show trial,” Israeli judges actually acquitted Barghouti of most of the charges against him. Israeli authorities believed he was directly responsible for as many as 37 attacks, but judges ruled they lacked sufficient proof of his involvement in many of those cases.

Israeli media and American Jewish figures castigated the Times for omitting the full details of Barghouti’s activities.

“Shame on NYT for printing libelous op-ed by convicted killer Barghouti, the Palestinian Dylann Roof,” wrote former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren. “Americans would be horrified. So are we.”….

U.S. Ill Prepared for Convicted Jihadis Ending Their Prison Sentences

Prison-Fence-Public-Domain-300x300Patrick Dunleavy | Investigative Project on Terrorism

“O Allah, Free the Muslim Prisoners.”

Inspire Magazine 2010

The old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind” does not apply to dealing effectively with the threat of Islamism especially in the case of terrorists who have been captured or incarcerated.

Radical Islamic organizations such as al-Qaida and ISIS never forget their members. To them, going to prison is part of the pathway to paradise. Both groups’ leaders, Ayman al-Zawahri and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, spent considerable periods of time locked up. It did nothing to diminish their zeal, but rather, fueled their fervor. Often, as in their cases, what comes out of prison is worse than what went in.

This is further illustrated by the increased number of terrorists released from Guantanamo who rejoin the fight against U.S. military personnel. Almost one in three released prisoners return to the jihadists’ fold. This recidivism can be attributed in part to the admonitions terrorists receive to assist those who are captured or imprisoned. That support may include financial help for their families and for legal fees.

These instructions were found in a training manual discovered in 2000 by law enforcement officers in Manchester, England.

“I take this opportunity to address our prisoners. We have not forgotten you,” al-Zawahiri said in an interview with Al Shabab commemorating the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. “We are still committed to the debt of your salvation . . . until we shatter your shackles.”

AQAP’s Inspire magazine went so far as to list the names of incarcerated members for all to remember.

They do this because jihadis firmly believe that sooner or later they’ll be reunited with those members.

If that isn’t ominous enough, consider the fact that as many as 100 people convicted of terror-related offenses in U.S. prisons will be set free in less than four years.

And yet, while Islamic terrorist organizations have rapidly changed in their recruitment and tactical methodologies overall, the U.S. has not adapted to countering the evolving threat.

In the United States, the number of terror-related incidents increased exponentially since 9-11. As they did, authorities adapted new ways to investigate. State of the art technologies help collect and analyze data. Fusion centers were created to get the information into the hands of investigators in real time. Counter terrorism, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies joined together to share.

Legislation has changed how the judicial system prosecutes terrorists. “Our criminal law was unprepared for international terrorism. We simply did not have statutes and penalties that fit what terrorists do,” said former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, who led the prosecution against the first World Trade Center bombers and blind sheik Omar Abdel Rahman.

A vigorous debate continues whether to treat terrorists as criminals or as enemy combatants. A reasonable consensus among the military and the judicial branches is building for the use of both designations.

Two significant changes, in policy and practice, toward radical Islamic terrorists remain to be addressed.

Terrorists go into prison much the same way as the burglar, the drug dealer, or the pedophile. They are housed and fed in existing correctional facilities with common criminals. No mandatory rehabilitation or de-radicalization programs exist for convicted Islamic terrorists. And when they are released, there is no specialized supervisory program applied to monitor their employment or whereabouts.

This situation has to change if we are to deal effectively with terrorism. We should establish a registration list for convicted terrorists. This would provide local authorities with the identity of those recently released to their communities. It has been successfully used with sex offenders. It can work if properly applied.

With as many as 500 terrorists now in custody and more to come, the custodial system must also evolve in how it handles jihadists. Security classification must not be downgraded simply because the terrorist has become “jail wise” (exhibited good behavior) like “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh, who will be released from prison in two years.

Special administrative measures – conditions of confinement – which restrict visits, correspondence and other prison privileges assigned to terrorists must continue.

Uniform security standards for imprisoned terrorists should be established in the federal, state, and local correctional facilities. Jose Padilla, the alleged “dirty bomber” who first learned of a radical form of Islam while in a Florida county jail and was originally sentenced to life in prison, is scheduled to be released in eight years. Who will be the parole officers assigned to supervise him and will those officers be afforded any specialized training before that happens?

In some cases, specialized facilities like Guantanamo are necessary in dealing with enemy combatants and other committed jihadists. They are effective. No anecdotal evidence has been presented showing them to be a recruitment tool for ISIS or al Qaida. That is like saying that Alcatraz was responsible for the increase in violent crime.

The number of people arrested in the U.S. for terrorism-related crimes nearly tripled in 2015. That year, FBI Director James Comey testified that more than 200 people traveled overseas from the United States in an attempt to fight alongside ISIS or al-Qaida related groups in the Middle East and North Africa.

In 2016, Comey said his agents still had 1,000 open cases related to ISIS. Within the next few years, he said, there may be a “terrorist diaspora” of ISIS fighters leaving the battlefield of Syria and returning to their home countries, committed to carrying out more terrorist attacks.

We can only hope that the vast majority will be apprehended before they can carry out attacks here in the United States. And when they are, we had better be prepared to effectively deal with them throughout their entire time in the system. Anything less is unacceptable to the citizens of this great country.

IPT Senior Fellow Patrick Dunleavy is the former Deputy Inspector General for New York State Department of Corrections and author of The Fertile Soil of Jihad. He currently teaches a class on terrorism for the United States Military Special Operations School.

Sharia at The Hill: Robert Spencer article pulled after pressure from Leftists and Islamic supremacists

Robert Spencer | Jihad Watch

The Hill published my piece on Lindsay Lohan’s possible conversion to Islam yesterday; you can read it in its entirety here, but you can’t read it at The Hill. It was a minor piece about a minor celebrity, but it caused the foes of freedom major agitation. All day today, Leftists and Islamic supremacists have been tweeting at The Hill, outraged that they published the “racist” “hatemonger” Robert Spencer.

What was “racist” or “hateful” about the actual article they did not and could not say, because there wasn’t really anything racist or hateful about it. But The Hill has succumbed to the neo-fascist impulse, emulating the Nazi Brownshirts who shouted down and physically menaced anti-Nazi professors in Germany in the early 1930s, and has pulled the article. Leftists and Islamic supremacists cannot engage their foes intellectually any more than the Nazis could, and so they do what the Nazis did: demonize and stigmatize them until people are too intimidated and ashamed to hold their positions. Any opinion that violates Sharia blasphemy laws must be silenced. And there is no end of cowards in the West who willingly become mute as fish when thus challenged.

I will happily debate, in any public forum, with any serious Leftist or Muslim spokesman, any of the points I made in that article or in any of my other writings. But they will not engage on that level. They know they can only win by shouting their opponents down and forcibly shutting them up. And they have prevailed upon The Hill tonight. It was less bloody than the carnage at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris in January 2015, but the motion was otherwise the same: foes of jihad terror and Islamic supremacism were forcibly silenced, which is the only way we can be silenced.

The cowards who give up the freedom of speech at the slightest provocation, such as those who operate The Hill, don’t realize what is coming: their appeasement won’t silence the demands, but only encourage more, until they are nothing but passive mouthpieces for the Sharia agenda, or mute as the proponents of that agenda advance. They probably won’t realize this until it is far too late.


San Francisco: FBI arrests wife of Orlando Jihad Mass Murderer

Robert Spencer | Jihad Watch

“The woman, Noor Salman, was taken into custody by F.B.I. agents at her home outside of San Francisco.”

At her home outside San Francisco? She has been reported as missing for months, since right after it came to light that she knew about Omar Mateen’s jihad massacre plans and spoke with him during his mass murder spree. There should be a full investigation into how she escaped and who helped her, with special scrutiny given to Mateen’s father, who blandly told the media that she had disappeared but was, of course, never pressed by them as to where she had gone and why. Instead, he showed up in a prominent seat at a Hillary Clinton rally.

“F.B.I. Arrests Wife of Killer in Orlando Mass Shooting,” by Adam Goldman, New York Times, January 16, 2017:

WASHINGTON — The wife of the man who carried out a deadly terrorist attack in Orlando, Fla., has been arrested in connection with the mass shooting, a law enforcement official said Monday.

The New York Times would like to hear from readers who want to share messages and materials with our journalists.

The woman, Noor Salman, was taken into custody by F.B.I. agents at her home outside of San Francisco. Prosecutors had been weighing charges against her in the aftermath of the attack that killed 49 people and wounded dozens. A person familiar with details of the arrest said Ms. Salman was charged with obstruction….


Details Surfacing from Ft. Lauderdale Shooting

(We Are Change) — New details are emerging about the suspect in the shooting that left five people dead at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Friday. Esteban Santiago-Ruiz has been described as a former soldier who sought psychological treatment after a tour in Iraq, and who told the FBI that he was being forced to fight for the Islamic State.

The suspect’s aunt, Maria Ruiz Rivera, told NJ Advance Media that Santiago-Ruiz “lost his mind” during a year-long tour of duty in Iraq five years ago, and was hospitalized for mental health issues as a result.

KTUU, the NBC affiliate in Anchorage, reported that Santiago-Ruiz left the Alaska Army National Guard in August 2016, and provided the following list of highlights from his time in the military:

  • Joined the Puerto Rico National Guard Dec. 14, 2007
  • Deployed to Iraq with Puerto Rico National Guard April 23, 2010 to February 19, 2011
  • Was in the Army Reserves prior to joining the Alaska Army National Guard Nov. 21, 2014
  • Received a general discharge from the Alaska Army National Guard Aug. 16, 2016 for unsatisfactory performance
  • He was a combat engineer (MOS: 21B10)
  • When he was discharged, his military rank was E3 (Private First Class)

CBS News reported that the Fort Lauderdale shooting suspect had a history with the FBI, and that in November 2016, he walked into an FBI office in Anchorage and said he “was being forced to fight for ISIS.”


Santiago-Ruiz’s brother, Bryan Santiago, told NJ Advance Media that Esteban was living in Alaska and receiving psychological treatment, but said he was not aware of the specific details surrounding the treatment.

The suspect also had a history with Homeland Security. CBS Miami reported that Santiago-Ruiz was “investigated by Homeland Security Investigations for child porn,” in 2011 or 2012. As a result of the investigation, “three weapons and a computer were seized, but there was not enough evidence to prosecute.”

Detailing the shooting, Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca told the Associated Press that Santiago-Ruiz flew in on an Air Canada flight, and then retrieved a gun from his checked bag and loaded it in the restroom.

Air Canada denied this report.

(This is a developing story, and it will be updated as details emerge)

Muslim Scholar: Group That Sponsored Ellison’s Hajj a ‘National Security Threat’

1919John Rossomando | Investigative Project on Terrorism

The group that paid for U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison’s December 2008 hajj to Mecca is a “national security threat,” a Muslim scholar wrote in a 2010 email.

Ellison now is vying to become the next Democratic National Committee chief.

The Muslim American Society (MAS), the group that paid $13,500 for Ellison’s pilgrimage, had ties with terrorism and had a phony commitment to the American constitutional order, al-Husein Madhany wrote in the email, which was posted on the “Muslim Justice League” listserv. He made these assertions as part of a discussion of how the Muslim community should respond to the Ground Zero mosque controversy.

The listserv included top U.S. Islamist and liberal intellectuals, as well as Obama administration representatives. CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen and prominent American Muslim playwright and polemicist Wajahat Ali also were part of the list. “When I said that I believe MAS halaqas (religious gatherings) to be a national security threat, it was only part in jest. My caution comes from what I have personally heard said at MAS halaqas during my time in graduate school and based on what I know about their ideological (but financial) ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas,” Madhany wrote .

Madhany, who has ties to the Brookings Institution, Council on Foreign Relations, Georgetown University, and New America Foundation, co-authored a 2008 piece for Brookings with President Obama’s former U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Rashad Hussain, about the role of Islam in counter-terrorism policy.

At the time, Madhany wrote, some non-governmental groups were building a case for designating the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates as terrorist groups.

Part of that case was built on the fact that “MAS continues to teach to their members — at its highest levels of leadership — that all governments should become Islamic and that non-Islamic judicial systems should be boycotted or replaced, by soft power and by force, Madhany wrote. “They do this while promoting the idea in public that their goal is to support and defend the U.S. Constitution.”

Madhany is no conservative. His 2008 Brookings piece argued that using the terms “Islamic terrorism” or “Islamic extremist” gave religious legitimacy to Al-Qaida, suggesting “Al-Qaida terrorism” instead.

Madhany was not the first or the only person to connect MAS with the Muslim Brotherhood.

“In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews,” the Chicago Tribune reported in 2004. In 2008, federal prosecutors said that MAS was founded as the “overt arm” of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.

Convicted Al-Qaida financier and jailed prominent U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader Abdurrahman Alamoudi confirmed this assertion in 2012: “Everyone knows that MAS is the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Brotherhood bylaws call for “the need to work on establishing the Islamic State, which seeks to effectively implement the provisions of Islam and its teachings.”

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) classified MAS as a terrorist organization in 2014.

Madhany’s e-mail offers a glimpse of how people on the inside view MAS, Islam scholar Daniel Pipes told the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Right after the Sept. 11 attacks, Pipes detailed several instances in which American Islamists preached that the U.S. Constitution ought to be replaced with Islamic law.

“This is an insight into what people who understand this organization actually think of it,” Pipes told the IPT. “It fits into a context of frank discussion that in recent years has been closed down, and it shows what sort of organization that Keith Ellison takes money from and endorses.”

The MAS Connection to Ellison’s 2010 Fundraiser

During his 2010 re-election campaign, MAS President Esam Omeish hosted a fundraiser for Ellison in which Ellison criticized what he saw as Israel’s disproportionate influence on U.S. foreign policy. The IPT exclusively reported on his comments Nov. 30.

“The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people. A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right? When the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes. Can I say that again?” Ellison said.

Omeish, Ellison’s host at the fundraiser, has voiced support for Hamas. Following Israel’s 2004 assassination of Hamas founder Sheikh Yassin, Omeish, a Libyan by birth, mourned the terrorist leader as “our beloved Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.”

During a December 2000 Jerusalem Day rally in Washington’s Lafayette Square, Omeish praised Palestinians for knowing “that the Jihad way is the way to liberate your land.”

Ellison Speaking at Next Week’s MAS Convention

Ellison first addressed a MAS convention in 2006 and has made repeated appearances at the organization’s events. He is scheduled to speak at MAS’s joint convention with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) starting next Monday in Chicago. ICNA is a predominately South Asian Islamist group that advocates creating a global Islamic state ruled by shariah.

Ellison also is listed as the keynote speaker at MAS-ICNA’s appreciation dinner.

The MAS convention Ellison will address will hear from radical speakers such as Ali Qaradaghi (Alternately spelled Al-Qurra Daghi in the MAS-ICNA program), secretary general of the pro-Hamas International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), one of the world’s most influential groups for Sunni Islamist clerics. It counts former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh as a member.

The Clinton administration banned this organization’s founder Yusuf al-Qaradawi from entering the U.S. in 1999 due to his support for terrorist attacks against Israel. In 2014 the UAE classified the IUMS as a terrorist organization, along with MAS and dozens of other Islamist groups.

Qaradaghi’s Twitter feed is replete with praise for Hamas and calls for Israel’s destruction. He also has attacked the anti-ISIS coalition for killing Sunnis in Fallujah and Mosul.

“Hamas is an Islamic resistance movement. It defends its people and our first Qibla (The place where Muslims face to pray.) It endeavors to liberate Occupied Palestine. And any attack on it is on the interests of the Zionist Project,” Qaradaghi wrote in a July tweet.

Like Omeish, Qaradaghi eulogized Hamas founder Sheikh Yassin as recently as March: “On such a day like this in 2004. Shiekh_Ahmed_Shahid# was martyred. By three rockets from Zionist Apache planes. After his leaving dawn prayer.”

Several pictures show Qaradaghi posing with top Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. “The Commander Mujahid Khaled Meshal honored me with a noble visit,” he wrote in September 2015. “We conferred on the conditions of the Muslims, al Aqsa and Gaza; and we saw good prospects for the steadfastness and Ribat of our people in the interior.”

In March 2015, Qardaghi signed an IUMS declaration condemning an Egyptian court’s classification of Hamas as a terrorist organization. An Egyptian appeals court later reversed the decision.

The MAS-ICNA conference heard a similar sentiment during its 2014 convention. Tariq Ramadan, grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna; described Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israel as “legitimate resistance.”

“I’m sorry to tell you, and this is where you have to stand as American Muslims—the Palestinian resistance is a legitimate resistance and they have the right to resist,” Ramadan said.

No record exists of Ellison ever calling MAS out for its extremism, as he previously did when he repudiated Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Ellison wrote in The Washington Post in a Dec. 2 op-ed that he “should have listened more and talked less” when it came to Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism, but his continued involvement with MAS suggests he is deaf to its rhetoric.

MPAC Shows its Extremist Colors

Islamist Watch

On December 11, the Muslim Public Affairs Council is hosting its annual convention. A number of prominent non-Muslim politicians are expected to attend. They will be sharing a platform with a couple of problematic Islamist activists: MPAC official Edina Lekovic and Imam Jihad Saafir.


While at UCLA, Edina Lekovic worked for a publication named Al-Talib. The July 1999 issue, which lists her as managing editor, features Ayatollah Khomeini and Osama bin Laden on the cover celebrating “the spirit of jihad.” One article in this issue, written by “Al-Talib staff,” states: “When we hear someone refer to the great Mujahid (someone who struggles in Allah’s cause) Osama bin Laden as a ‘terrorist,’ we should defend our brother and refer to him as a freedom fighter.” The July 1999 issue was published after the bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa and Bin Laden’s declaration of war against the U.S.

Another issue of Al-Talib, also bearing Lekovic’s name, alleges that the Holocaust is exaggerated.

Despite all this, MPAC has defended Lekovic from criticism of her work with Al-Talib.

jihad-saafirImam Jihad Saafir, meanwhile, is a prominent extremist cleric. In his sermons, Saafir invokes Shariah law to inform his audience that the punishment for adultery is death by stoning, neither condemning the practice or labeling it an anachronism. On social media, Saafir promotes videos condemning the promotion of homosexuality in public schools, and declares: “Public school is not an option!”

That extremist speakers are included in the MPAC’s roster is not particularly surprising. The Muslim Public Affairs Council was founded by individuals with close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. MPAC founder Maher Hathout described Hezbollah, which has murdered scores of Americans and is dedicated to wiping out Israel, as “fighting to liberate their land and attacking only armed forces. … This is an American value — freedom and liberty.” Salam Al-Marayati, president of MPAC, praised Hezbollah’s terrorism as “legitimate resistance,” and his organization has argued against the U.S. government’s designation of Hamas and Hezbollah as terror groups.

Politicians from across the political spectrum have noted MPAC’s extremism. In 1999, the then-House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO) withdrew Al-Marayati’s appointment to the National Commission on Terrorism after becoming aware of MPAC’s history. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), meanwhile, criticized MPAC in 2008 when the group protested a hearing meant to ensure that U.S. foreign aid does not end up in the coffers of terrorist-linked organizations.


Ellison bolts New York Times interview to avoid questions about his ties to the Nation of Islam

Robert Spencer | Jihad Watch

Imagine what he might have done if they had planned to ask him about his ties to the Muslim Brotherhood — an organization that is far larger, more powerful and more dangerous than the Nation of Islam. Ellison has spoken at a convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Yet ISNA has actually admitted its ties to Hamas, which styles itself the Palestinian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Justice Department actually classified ISNA among entities “who are and/or were members of the US Muslim Brotherhood.”

It gets worse. In 2008, Ellison accepted $13,350 from the Muslim American Society (MAS) to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca. The Muslim American Society is a Muslim Brotherhood organization: “In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews. One of the nation’s major Islamic groups, it was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 after a contentious debate among Brotherhood members.” That’s from the Chicago Tribune in 2004, in an article that is now carried on the Muslim Brotherhood’s English-language website, Ikhwanweb.

Also, the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) raised large amounts of for Ellison’s first campaign, and he has spoken at numerous CAIR events. Yet CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR officials have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups.

“ICYMI: DNC Chair Candidate Bolts From NYT Interview When Publication Wanted To Discuss Nation Of Islam Ties,” by Matt Vespa, Townhall, December 8, 2016:

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) has tossed his hat into the ring to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Yet, there have been some rather disturbing remarks the congressman has made, with one anti-defamation group describing them as disqualifying. Regardless, Ellison is a progressive Democrat, who will get a healthy amount of support and could very well become the next DNC chair. Yet, he’s made controversial remarks about the 9/11 attacks, Israel, and his defense of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Before the Thanksgiving holiday, The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman reported that the Obama White House was trying to find sensible alternatives to Ellison, or at least hope that someone more level-headed joins he race, with the Farrakhan issue fresh in their minds. They were also worried that Ellison winning the chairmanship “would amount to handing the party to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Mrs. Clinton’s primary race opponent, and his liberal followers.” At the time, the publication had set aside some time for a phone interview with Martin and Haberman, but backed out when told that the Farrakhan issue would be brought up:

Mr. Ellison’s past criticism of Mr. Obama and praise for Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader, worry some Democrats looking for a figure to lead the opposition to Mr. Trump.Mr. Ellison, a Muslim, defended Mr. Farrakhan in the 1990s, saying he was “not an anti-Semite,” and has positioned himself on the left flank of congressional Democrats on Israel.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, called Mr. Ellison “an important ally in the fight against anti-Semitism” but said he had taken positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “on which we strongly differ and that concern us.”

“We hope that all candidates for this post will make clear where they stand on these issues, and that the Democratic National Committee will make a choice that affirms the longstanding bipartisan consensus on a strong U.S.-Israel relationship,” he said.

Aides to Mr. Ellison were going to make him available for a telephone interview, but then declined when informed that he would be asked about his past comments on Mr. Farrakhan.