Relying On Muslim Communities To Fight Terrorism Is A Counterproductive Strategy

muslim prayer flickr cc
Ever since 9/11 we have been harped at the left on two issues — other than the US deserving the 9/11 attacks, I mean. The first of these is that we shouldn’t give into the completely understandable human impulse to strike back at the religious community that has spawned one conscienceless murderer after another and the second idea is that we need to be really nice to the Muslim community because they are our first line of defense in preventing terror attacks.


On the first, we have succeeded beyond the point any reasonable person would expect. Every year, no matter the Islamic atrocity perpetrated on innocent Americans, there are more religion based attacks on American Jews than on Muslims. And we’ve relied heavily on the second theory as well. In fact, when it came to light that the NYPD had a unit devoted to gathering intelligence on possible domestic terrorists based out of mosques in New York City, the unit was shut down. It is no exaggeration to say that relying upon the Muslim community to inform law enforcement about possible members who have become radicalized IS the official counter-terrorism policy of the United States:

Within hours of the Boston Marathon blasts, government officials and Boston Muslims called each other to offer assistance, calls that were the fruits of years of cultivating such relationships in an effort to ultimately prevent the very type of attack Boston experienced April 15.

But the calls following the explosions were not about the unfolding investigation. Representatives from the departments of Justice and Homeland Security offered support to Muslim communities in case they suffered backlash or threats, even days before law enforcement connected the suspected bombers to a violent interpretation of Islam.

This type of outreach has been a cornerstone of the Obama administration’s counterterrorism strategy. The goal is to prevent homegrown terrorist attacks by forming trusting relationships among law enforcement, government agencies and Muslim Americans.

“The best way to prevent violent extremism inspired by violent jihadists is to work with the Muslim American community – which has consistently rejected terrorism – to identify signs of radicalization and partner with law enforcement when an individual is drifting toward violence,” President Barack Obama said Thursday in his counterterrorism speech at National Defense University.

In Boston, the Muslim community handled the situation just as the Obama administration has asked them to. Yet the city suffered a terror attack from two of its own that killed three people and injured more than 260 others.


In fact, when Donald Trump suggested that our current strategy of relying upon cooperation with Muslim communities didn’t make sense and that maybe we needed to add a few sticks to all the carrots in our arsenal, the Left, collectively, went batsh** and declared that Trump was actually aiding ISIS (Andy McCarthy has a must-read that demolishes that nonsense). But read those introductory paragraphs carefully and a very familiar picture emerges. The elder Tsarnaev expressed himself in a mosque in ways that led the mosque-itos to think he was becoming radicalized. They did nothing. Diddly squat. He and his sexy younger brother bomb the Boston Marathon and suddenly Muslims are coming out of the woodwork to express their sorrow for the killings to the extent that they might cause this mythical backlash against Muslim communities. Good Samaritans, what?

We now know that the San Bernardino were active in their mosque. We know that their mother was a member of a radical Islamic group that had a chapter in that mosque. We also know that mosque was on Homeland Security’s radar until the forces of political correctness shut it down. What when wrong there?

Over the Christmas weekend this story broke:

The cleric acting as spokesman for the San Bernardino mosque where terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook worshipped claims he barely knew Farook and didn’t know his terrorist wife at all. But phone records and other evidence uncovered by federal investigators cast doubt on his story.

The FBI has questioned the cleric, Roshan Zamir Abbassi, about his phone communications with Farook — including a flurry of at least 38 messages over a two-week span in June, coinciding with the deadly Muslim terrorist attack on two military sites in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Abbassi maintained at a press conference that he didn’t know Farook any better than he knew the reporters in the room. But members of the mosque say Farook was a fixture there. He had been coming to pray and study at least three times a week for two years. In fact, he memorized the Koran there, something you cannot do without learning Arabic, a subject Abbassi teaches.

Abbassi recently posted a message on Facebook condemning the United States and other Western nations for their Mideast policies, arguing they are equally guilty of violence to achieve political and religious goals. His mosque’s Web page features a video claiming that the San Bernardino shooting was carried out by the US government in a “false flag conspiracy,” and that Farook and Malik were “patsies” assassinated “by government-sponsored perpetrators.”

Another person of interest is Abbassi’s brother, Mohammad Sabir Abbassi, a Muslim activist who serves as a trustee and English teacher at the San Diego mosque once headed by the late al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.


Wait. Wait. Anwar al-Awlaki? That is another testament to the wisdom of relying upon mosques officials and members to report on radicals. Al-Awlaki was an imam at a northern Virginia mosque where the 9/11 terrorists worshipped, and where Democrats continue to hang out, before being vaporized by an aptly named Hellfire missile fired from a Predator drone.

So what did this strategy of cooperation get us? So far, about 20 dead Americans. This imam denying any special knowledge of Syed Farook is already well beyond any false statement that Martha Stewart uttered. The only charitable interpretation of his exchanging “at least 38 messages” with Farook is that ALL the contacts were after the Chattanooga shooting AND that Farook expressed solidarity with the attacks and the imam, Abbassi, said nothing. If some of the messages were exchanged before the actual shootings in Chattanooga, well, we’re well on our way to a criminal conspiracy with Chattanooga and San Bernardino being parts of the same act.

So are Boston and San Bernardino outliers? Is Obama onto something? Or is he, as usual, feeding us baby-sh** and telling us it is butterscotch. A former FBI counter-terrorism official, John Guandolo, told Breibart Radio (yeah, I know, Breitbart, and yes, I know, John Guandolo) that since 9/11 “we collectively have received nearly zero help from the Muslim Community.” He went on to say:

Guandolo, who pointed out on Friday’s Breitbart News Daily that a “vast majority” of U.S. mosques and Islamic centers are a part of a much larger “jihadi network,” told host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon that though Muslim community leaders “certainly give the air as if they are helping,” if one looks at the “major Islamic organizations, the major Islamic centers in the United States,” they have “condemned all of the counter-terrorism policies and they’ve gotten the government to kowtow to them, to turn only to them for advice.”

“And what advice do they give them?” Guandolo asked. “That Islam doesn’t stand for this and that everything you’re doing is the reason for what happened—9/11 is your fault because of your policies.”


That is nearly exactly what happened in both Boston and San Bernardino.

Maybe we’re doing it wrong. Europe has a lot more experience dealing with significant Muslim minorities. Britain has essentially decided to let Muslim communities self-govern and if that includes ignoring British common law and running rape gangs, that’s fine, too. Maybe Muslims are more cooperative in places where they feel more welcome. Ummm, no.

Muslims are boycotting the country’s key anti-radicalisation programme, The Times can disclose, after it emerged that less than a tenth of extremism tip-offs were coming directly from the community or faith leaders.

The revelation that there were fewer than 300 community tip-offs in six months to the government’s Prevent programme will raise concern that the police are being denied information that might prevent terrorist attacks.

The vast majority of referrals to the scheme are instead being made by the police or public bodies such as schools or the NHS (that would be National Health Service).

Not only are these mosques NOT cooperating with British authorities, they are claiming the very existence of the program is racist (shades of the NYPD intelligence unit).

The statement goes on to say: “The project itself and Prevent in general is an ill-conceived and flawed policy. It is racist, and overtly targets members of the Muslim faith. This has been demonstrated by organisations who are collecting data on referrals to the [anti-radicalisation] Channel programme … We see the Brit project as another tool being used (like the Prevent strategy) to spy and denigrate the Muslim community and cause distrust. We have no confidence in the Brit project and the Prevent strategy overall.”


It can’t be said often enough. The kid-glove treatment we given known centers of Islamic radicalism is not reducing the presence of radical Islam or detecting potential terrorists before they attack. Rather our policy is fomenting radical Islam and it is encouraging Muslim communities to shelter radicals because there is absolutely zero downside to collaborating with the Islamists and a high potential downside for cooperating with authorities.

What sets Islam apart from any other religious or ethnic minority that has ever come to the United States is its unlimited sense of grievance, its unrestrained demand for exemption to the rule of law and the behavior norms of society, and the willingness to kill if offended. Indeed, it is very much an open question about the extent to which Muslim immigrants ever become American, offering their primary loyalty to the nation, rather that Muslims who are domiciled in the United States.

And since our current strategy isn’t working, is there a single reason to stay with it rather than trying something else?

Photo credit: Matthew Straubmuller via Flickr Creative Commons


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos