Losing the War on Islamic Terrorism
By: Nick Short
“A national security professional’s duty is not to know true Islam; it is to identify and establish a functional threat doctrine, regardless of whether that doctrine accurately tracks with ‘true’ Islam or not. What matters is that we understand the enemy’s doctrines, not whether he is correct about them,” writes Stephen Coughlin in his most recent book Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad.
Detailing how the War on Terror has effectively been lost through decision making that is increasingly less focused on the threat as it presents itself and more on the narratives that have reduced the threat to a nameless abstraction, Coughlin notes, “Today, individuals with Muslim Brotherhood affiliations dictate who can and cannot work for the government on War on Terror issues. They also dictate what can and cannot be discussed.”
“As long as they can keep us from understanding the enemy doctrine, they can keep us from winning the war. There is no knowing this enemy without understanding that doctrine, and there is no victory without knowing the enemy. These are facts. We can lose a war— and our country— for want of readily available facts, which are ignored according to policy,” states Coughlin. To the everyday American who for the most part is not aware of the purges that have taken place within our national security apparatus, this may sound farfetched as if it was the making of a conspiracy theory, but it isn’t. As the declared enemy has stated that their fighting doctrine is based on the Islamic Law of jihad, Islamic Law must be incorporated into any competent threat analysis as the enemy identifies its doctrine along Islamic lines. Today, you will not find a single threat analysis within the myriad of national security agencies that even identifies Islam nor jihad.
The reason for this is due to the terrorist organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood having insulated itself within our government, military, the national security establishment, transnational bodies, and even interfaith communities. Before we can even grasp how the Muslim Brotherhood today now controls the domestic debate within our own national security circles regarding Islam, we must first look at whom this enemy truly is. The Brotherhood’s stated goal is to eliminate and destroy Western civilization from within as the document that reveals how to achieve this goal was labeled An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.
The 18-page document was entered into evidence in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terror funding trial. Federal investigators found the document in the home of Ismael Elbarasse, a founder of the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, during a 2004 search. The document was written in 1991 by Muslim Brotherhood operative Mohamed Akram and lays out the Brotherhood’s plan as a “civilizational alternative” for infiltrating non-Islamic forms of society and governance for the “global Islamic state.”
The memo details the role of the Muslim Brother in North America:
The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes.
The memo further identifies numerous groups operating as fronts for the Brotherhood under the heading “a list of our organizations and the organizations of our friends.” Such groups are as the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Muslim Student Association (MSA), The Muslim Communities Association (MCA), as well as a litany of others are all identified. It is important to note that out of this memorandum the preeminent Muslim Brotherhood front organizations we see working within the United States today were born, those being the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).
Coughlin details how the Brotherhood operations in America began with this memorandum as it outlined a strategy in which it first penetrated American institutions under the guise of being a “moderate” organization in order to effect downstream efforts from within. Coughlin writes, “this is what the Brotherhood is referring to when it says it seeks ‘a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers.’ While penetrating government and civil organizations is important, the interfaith movement constitutes a major supporting line of operation in Brotherhood penetration operations.” It is from the interfaith movement, or as the White House likes to call it “Muslim outreach“, that the Brotherhood has gained so much influence over our national security.
For instance, in October 2011, 57 organizations made up the likes of Brotherhood front organizations such as CAIR, ICNA, and MSA wrote a letter demanding President Barack Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (and future Central Intelligence Agency Director) John Brennan, urging him to take action over U.S. government training materials alleged to demonstrate a prejudice against Islam. In the letter the organizations insist on firings, “re-training” and “purges” of officers, analysts, Special Agents, and decision makers who created or made such materials available. With information that these groups could have only obtained from sources within, they go on to note specific material as having an “anti-Muslim bias” such as the FBI’s 2011 training manual, books at the FBI library in their training academy in Quantico, Virginia, specific FBI trainers and analysts, and a report made by Army Command and General Staff at the Fort Leavenworth School of Advanced Military Studies.
The same week that the letter was sent to the White House, a meeting was held at George Washington University between these same groups and top DOJ officials, including DOJ Civil Rights Division head Tom Perez. According to a report on this meeting by Neil Munro of the Daily Caller, several Muslim group leaders called for creating criminal and civil penalties for anyone advocating positions they deem offensive. Most notably in attendance were Sahar Aziz, an Egyptian-born American lawyer and Fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a Muslim advocacy group based in Michigan and Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), one of the largest Brotherhood front groups in America.
At the meeting, the Islamists lobbied for: Cutbacks in U.S. anti-terror training, limits on the power of terrorism investigators, changes in agent training manuals, and a legal declaration that criticism of Islam in the United States should be considered racial discrimination. Aziz said that the word “Muslim” has become “radicalized” and, once American criticism of Islam was silenced, the effect would be to “take (federal) money away from local police departments and fusion centers who are spying on all of us.” Magid asked Perez to change the federal government’s rules governing terror investigations, for more private meetings with top justice department officials, for the reeducation of FBI agents, and for more people to oppose criticism of Islam, which he labelled “religious bigotry and hate.”
Days later, after both the letter sent to the White House and the meeting with DOJ officials, Brennan responded by agreeing on the necessity for the “White House to immediately create an interagency Task Force to address the problem and bring the FBI and DHS into compliance with Islamic sensibilities” by removing personnel and products that these Brotherhood front organizations had deemed “biased, false, and highly offensive.” Brennan further stated that such a review was already underway by the administration in order to improve training for “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE). The process included combining “cultural awareness” with the CVE “training guidance and best practices” directives. It also meant putting out “a bulletin” to state, local, and tribal entities that “regularly leverage federal grants to fund CVE-related trainings” to provide guidance in their efforts.
“The FBI proceeded to undertake the very purging of documents that these Brotherhood front organizations had demanded and the Department of Defense followed shorty thereafter with a Soviet style purge of individuals along with disciplinary actions and re-education,” writes Stephen Coughlin. Coughlin goes on to state that, “the very information that senior leaders such as Brennan, Perez, and those within the Obama adminstration sought to purge from analysis and censor from discussion was the same information that has repeatedly provided indicators and warnings of threat activity when presented in national security forums.”
It is through the adminstration’s “Countering Violent Extremism” protocols and advisory councils that the purging of work product and personnel continues to this day. Thus, the Muslim Brotherhood through various front groups such as CAIR now control the domestic debate on countering terrorism through the CVE narrative, which in effect is a sophisticated information campaign executed through the skilled imposition of a disarming pseudo-reality. National security officials working within the DHS, FBI, CIA, and DOJ now look to Muslim Brotherhood groups like CAIR, ISNA, MPAC, and others for guidance domestically. It is through the CVE that the threat language of terrorist groups like ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood was purged from our national security and law enforcement sectors.
Hence, it is because of the CVE and not in spite of it, that the threat vocabulary defining this enemy has been purged, leaving us defenseless and unable to counter actual terrorists in the War on Terror. “The most disturbing aspect of the CVE,” writes Coughlin, “will be the realization that national security elites beholden to the oath to support and defend the Constitution have been manipulated into taking active measures to suppress true threat analysis that is supposed to be undertaken in support of the primary intelligence mission: to know the enemy.”
As it stands today, America is losing the War on Terror as we are fighting the counter-terror war according to narratives that declare actual fact-based threat analysis unconstitutional on religious grounds yet allow actual terrorists to serve as the arbiters of our counter-ideology campaigns based on language requirements and legal doctrines that are not our own.