A senior State Department official has announced, “The war on terror is over.” “Now that we have killed most of al Qaida,” the source said, “now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al Qaida see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism.”
White House officials held talks with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood in Washington this week, as the Islamist group threw itself into the fray in Egypt’s presidential election. The meeting on Tuesday with low-level National Security Council staff was part of a series of US efforts to broaden engagement with new and emerging political parties following Egypt’s revolution last year, a US official said.
Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is facing criticism for her upcoming appearance at a fundraiser hosted by an American Muslim leader who was placed on the Federal Terrorist Watch List.
Wasserman Schultz is set to keynote an annual fundraising dinner for EMERGE USA, a Muslim community group led by Khurrum Wahid, a controversial attorney with a track record of defending accused terrorists and associating with Muslim Brotherhood-backed groups.
Democrats and Republicans alike are wondering why Wasserman Schultz, described by the Jewish Daily Forward as a “proud Jewess,” would associate with Wahid.
Born in Pakistan, Wahid honed his legal chops post-9-11 when he started “representing immigrants detained for questioning in the wake of the terrorist attacks,” according to the Miami News Times. He also co-founded Florida Muslim Bar Association and serves as its current president.
Since 2004, Wahid has represented a man convicted of plotting a subway station bombing, as well as a Florida doctor who was sentenced for “conspiring to treat wounded al Qaeda militants,” the News Times reports.
Wahid currently represents a father-son team of imams who stand accused of providing material support to the Pakistani Taliban. The 20-page federal indictment against the duo claims that they bankrolled the purchase of guns and paid to send kids to an Islamic school that taught them how to slay Americans in Afghanistan.
In yet another curtsy to the politically correct orthodoxy, President Barack Obama’s White House plans to tinker with federal police curriculums for counterterrorism training classes, according to a Beltway public-interest organization. The first bit of “revamping” is the removal of all material that groups, such as the Council on American Islamic Relations , or CAIR, find offensive or containing a “negative” image of Muslims. It’s a government-wide call to end Islamophobia, according to a blog by a Washington, DC-based watchdog group that investigates, exposes and prosecutes government corruption.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday issued a presidential decree appointing a prisoner who was released in the recent Hamas prisoner-exchange deal for Gilad Schalit as his adviser for local government.
The former prisoner, Mahmoud Awad Damra, was sentenced in 2006 to 15 years in prison for his role in terrorist attacks against Israel.
Damra served as commander of the PA’s Force 17 security force under PA president Yasser Arafat.
A former commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the FBI says played a role in a 1996 terrorist attack that killed 19 U.S. servicemen, accompanied Iraq’s prime minister to the White House on Monday, attending an event at which President Obama trumpeted the end of the Iraq War.
Hadi Farhan al-Amiri, transportation minister in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government, was part of the delegation that visited the White House to discuss Iraq’s future and Iran’s influence there, among other topics.
At a joint White House news conference with Mr. al-Maliki, Mr. Obama proclaimed that the U.S. is committed to being a major player in the region and that Iraq’s neighbors should take heed. He did not mention Iran by name.
Critics have accused Mr. al-Maliki, a Shiite, of acting at the behest of the Shiite government in Iran. But Mr. Obama told reporters that he believes the Iraqi prime minister when he says that “his interest is maintaining Iraqi sovereignty and preventing meddling by anybody inside of Iraq.”
NEW YORK (AP) – Federal authorities declined to pursue a case against an “al-Qaida sympathizer” accused of wanting to bomb police stations and post offices in New York City because they believed he was mentally unstable and incapable of pulling off the alleged plot, two law enforcement officials said Monday.
New York Police Department investigators sought to get the FBI involved at least twice as their undercover investigation of Jose Pimentel unfolded, the officials said. Both times, the FBI concluded that he wasn’t a serious threat, they said.
The FBI concluded that 27-year-old Pimentel “didn’t have the predisposition or the ability to do anything on his own,” one of the officials said.
The officials were not authorized to speak about the case and spoke on condition of anonymity. The FBI’s New York office declined to comment on Monday. New York City authorities said that the FBI was involved in the case, but did not specifically say they declined to pursue the charges.
“We just believed that we couldn’t let it go any further. We had to act,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
New York authorities said Pimentel was motivated by terrorist propaganda and resentment of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Authorities said police had to move quickly to arrest Pimentel on Saturday—because he was approximately one hour from being able to detonate explosives.
“He was in fact putting this bomb together,” Kelly said. “He was drilling holes and it would have been not appropriate for us to let him walk out the door with that bomb.”