Beyond ISIS: Europe’s Salafists Nurturing Jihad

Before there was the Islamic State, before YouTube videos that seduce Europe’s Muslims to join in the jihad, before Twitter and Tumblr and the many tools of recruitment on the Internet, there was the local mosque.

There still is.

With all the emphasis now on ISIS and its various affiliates, and on the dangers they pose against the West, we have largely forgotten the forces that were radicalizing Muslim youth in Europe long before ISIS came along. Worse, we have failed to notice they still do. And yet these largely Saudi-backed, Salafist institutions – mosques and schools and Islamic community centers – arguably pose the greatest threat to Western culture, both in terms of their potential for inspiring terrorism and the sociopolitical influence they exert.

Concerns about Salafist groups and their unwavering impact in Europe have reemerged of late, the result of numerous investigations into ties between European mosques and terror financing organizations. Added to this is a growing unrest within the European Muslim community as it struggles with its own identity and future. In the process, counterterrorism experts and government officials have increasingly been forced to acknowledge that “bombing the hell out of ISIS,” as the U.S. president-elect has sworn to do, won’t be enough to solve the problem.

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Refugees or an Occupation Army?

What does an occupation army do when it is installed in a country? It occupies the land, forcing residents to follow its own way of life. It implements measures against the country’s inhabitants, it propagandizes its beliefs and uses force to have them imposed.

This, sadly, is what has been happening in Greece from the migrants who seem to “forget” that they are hosted in Greece and force the Greeks to feel like guests in their own country.

If someone is a war refugee or his life is in danger in his homeland, it would seem appropriate, when he arrives in the country which offers him asylum, to be grateful to this country, respect its history, its people its values and its laws. The same would hold true for an immigrant who wants to go to a country where he hopes he will find a better future.

In Greece, conversely, illegal immigrants — all of whom the media call “refugees,” apparently trying artificially to legalize them in the moral consciousness of citizens — have been occupying spaces that do not belong to them, using violence, blocking roads, committing crimes against public property, acting aggressively toward residents and the police, and saying that they feel offended when they see symbols that represent Christianity. The guests seem to be trying to take over the house.

A few weeks ago, 200 North Africans and Pakistanis rioted in the middle of the night, demanding to leave Mytilene Island. They were chanting, “Jihad! Jihad!”, smashing the residents’ cars in the center of the island and disrupting the local community. The migrants claimed that someone told them about the death of seven migrants on a ship, so they rose up against the authorities. The police and NGO workers explained that this was misinformation, but the 200 migrants were evidently not interested in hearing that. The migrants were ready to wage jihad because they believed a rumor about an event for which, even had it been true, the Greek state and its inhabitants had no responsibility. The authorities were unsuccessful at calming them down and trying to make them return to their living area.

As it turned out, there were no dead migrants; the uprising was a “mistake,” but the police and the locals had to spend the night tracking down refugees and migrants on the streets of Mytilene.

The illegal immigrants stated that the information about the seven dead migrants came through phone calls to them during the night. Police sources say, off the record, that this incident has all the hallmarks of covert “black operations.”

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Child Jihadist Calls on Malala to Renounce Western Education

In an audio message allegedly posted by al-Qaida in Pakistan, a young girl jihadist calls on Malala Yousafzai to renounce Western education and adopt the path of Allah as laid out in the Muslim holy book Quran and the Sunnah (teachings of the Prophet Mohammad).

Yousafzai’s activism on behalf of education for girls made her a target for radical Islamists. She was shot in the head by a masked Taliban gunman in 2012 while riding her school bus home.

In 2014, Yousafzai, then 17, became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize for standing up against Taliban attacks on western education in her hometown in northwest Pakistan.

The new recording indicates Yousafzai remains a target, and that jihadists are indoctrinating children into supporting terror and opposing education.

“It takes a person close to Allah, only creator, and guides us to fulfill the purpose of our creation and that is to establish Khilafah on the earth of Allah,” the girl jihadist, identified as Hafsa Khurasani, can be heard telling Malala.

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Europe’s Terror Challenges: The Returnee Threat

Another week, another barrage of headlines illustrating the depth of Europe’s terror threat. The following examples came during a 24 hour window earlier this month: “Schiphol Airport Was Possibly A Target Of Terror Cell That Attacked Paris;” “Police In Brussels Stabbed In Possible Terror Attack;” and “MI5 Missed Chance To Foil Paris And Brussels Attacks.”

It is news to no one that Islamic terrorism is everywhere now, and principally in Northern and Central Europe. But the three news stories, and the Schiphol and MI5 revelations in particular, demonstrate the enormity of the challenges now facing European counterterrorism officials.

Intelligence and law enforcement continue to fumble in handling the threat, often through no real fault of their own. The perpetrators are slippery and elusive. Sometimes they travel under false names. Some slip in as refugees, using false passports and false histories. Others are returnees from Syria whose activities and encrypted Telegram communications slide beneath the radar, even as they are being watched. And overtaxed law enforcement agencies have made any number of mistakes, overlooking suspicious behavior or releasing suspects without adequate investigation – in part a consequence of political pressures and the fear of being accused of “Islamophobia” by politicians and the press.

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Sweden: Returning Islamic State jihadis to get free housing, driver’s license, tax benefits

Muslims who return to Sweden after joining the terrorist organization Islamic state, IS, in the Middle East can be offered tax benefits which include drivers education, free housing and even debt restructuring.

Radio Sweden spoke to Christoffer Carlsson, author of a report for the national coordinator against violent extremism, which gathers examples of how the terrorists are to be “reintegrated” into Swedish society with the help of state funds.

“It’s directly through social, economic and material means. You need to be able to reintegrate into the job market, you may need to have a driver’s license, debt settlement and shelter. When people leave, they want to leave for something else, but they do not have the resources to do so, so it is difficult for them to realize their plans,” says Christoffer Carlsson.

Without these kinds of benefits at the Swedish taxpayers’ expense, there is a risk that terrorists “do not succeed” in leaving the Muslim extremist environment, stresses Carlsson.

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Robert Spencer in FrontPage: Obama: ‘There’s No Religious Rationale’ For Jihad Terror

Here we go again. This is like having to prove that water is wet or that Hillary Clinton is crooked, but since Barack Obama has once again affirmed that jihad terrorists are twisting and hijacking the Religion of Peace, once again it is necessary to prove that unfortunately that is not the case. Obama is right about one thing: this question matters for what strategy the U.S. and the free world should pursue against the jihadis. That’s what makes his denial and willful ignorance nothing short of catastrophic.

CNN reported Thursday that Obama said the question of whether or not to use the term “Islamic terrorist” was “sort of manufactured” issue. He claimed, yet again, that “terrorist organizations like al Qaeda or ISIL…have perverted and distorted and tried to claim the mantle of Islam for an excuse for basically barbarism and death.”

Warming to his point, Obama said: “These are people who’ve killed children, killed Muslims, take sex slaves, there’s no religious rationale that would justify in any way any of the things that they do.”

Is he right? Of course not.

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Jihadis: Who Are Their Targets?

It is now 18 months since two gunmen forced their way into the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris and set about murdering the staff of that magazine. The gunmen from al-Qaeda in Yemen called for the editor — “Charb” — by name before murdering him and most of his colleagues. In an interview shortly before his death, taking into account the threat to his life which entailed constant security protection, Stéphane Charbonnier had said, “I prefer to die standing than live on my knees.” Charb did die standing, in the office of the magazine he edited.

In the 18 months since the attack on Charlie Hebdo and the massive demonstrations in solidarity on the streets of Paris, France has suffered a terrible set of further terrorist assaults The ISIS attack (which killed 130 people) last November on the Bataclan Theatre and other sites around Paris and the attack (which killed 84 people) in Nice on July 14 are the deadliest and most prominent. But other acts of terror — including the murder last month in their home of two members of the police, carried out by a man pledging allegiance to ISIS –have gone on and almost become normal.

Yesterday’s murder of an 84-year old priest, Father Jacques Hamel, while he was saying mass is shocking even by the standards of France during this period. Two men claiming allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) entered the church and ritually murdered the priest by slitting his throat. A second victim is currently struggling to stay alive. It is hard to see any end in this sight of this horror, but these two atrocities across an 18-month gap are worth considering alongside each other — not least because the reaction to them in France and outside may contain the tiniest glimmer of hope in a very dark time.

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