Ramadan 2013 – Day 28 – Al Qaeda “Inspiring” Terror

2013 Ramadan PrayerThe U.S. State Department announced that nineteen embassies will remained closed this week because of a “specific” and “serious” terrorist threat from an al-Qaeda affiliate.

Al-Qaeda, which is Arabic for “the Base” was founded in the late 1980s by Osama bin Laden. It grew out of a clearinghouse for the international Muslim brigade, called the Services Office that opposed the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Bin Laden and Palestinian religious scholar Abdullah Azzam recruited and trained thousands of “holy warriors” from more than fifty countries to fight in Afghanistan. After the 1988 Soviet pledge to withdraw troops from the nation, bin Laden created al-Qaeda.

Al-Qaeda does not have a single, central headquarters. The U.S. government reports the organization has a worldwide presence consisting of at least several thousand members and associates from as many as 100 nations. Al-Qaeda cells have been found in the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Albania, Uganda and other nations.

Al-Qaeda is also affiliated with other “like-minded” terrorist organizations located in nations such as Egypt, Libya, Uzbekistan, Algeria, Kashmir, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia, along with Al-Qaeda groups in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and the Islamic Maghreb. Intelligence experts also believe al-Qaeda cooperates on logistics and training with Hezbollah, a radical, Shiite, Iran-based terrorist group. Al-Qaeda training camps have been located in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Kenya and Sudan.

Terror attacks linked to Al-Qaeda include:

  • August 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (killed 301 and injured 5,000)
  • October 2000 attack on the USS Cole (killed 17 and injured 39)
  • September 11, 2001 attacks in NY, DC and Pennsylvania (killed 2,996 and injured over 6,000)
  • April 2002 bombing in Tunisia (killed 19 and injured 22)
  • October 2002 attack on French tanker, MV Limburg near Yemen (killed 1 and injured 4)
  • October 2002 attack on U.S. military personnel in Kuwait (killed 1)
  • October 2002 nightclub bombing in Bali, Indonesia that (killed 202 and injured 209)
  • November 2002 hotel bombing in Mombasa, Kenya (killed 15 and injured 40)
  • May 2003 bombing of compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (killed 36 and injured 160)
  • May 2003 bombings in Casablanca, Morocco (killed 41 and injured 101)
  • August 2003 bombing of the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia (killed 17 and injured 137)
  • November 2003 truck bombing of a Riyadh housing complex (killed 17 and injured 122)
  • November 2003 bombings of two Turkish synagogues (killed 23 and injured 200)
  • November 2003 Istanbul bombings of the British Consulate and HSBC Bank (killed 27 and 455 injured)
  • March 2004 bomb attacks on Madrid commuter trains (killed 191 and injured 2050)
  • July 2005 bombing in London (killed 56 and injured approximately 700)
  • February 2006 attack on Abqaiq petroleum processing facility in Saudi Arabia (4 killed)
  • December 2009 attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight

The al-Qaeda affiliate in the Arabian Peninsula reportedly is the group that publishes Inspire Magazine, an online English magazine used to spread al-Qaeda’s message and methods. The first issue appeared in July of 2010, and the latest issue released in May 2013 claims it was the inspiration for the Boston Marathon bombing.

In a 2012 issue of Inspire, Australia was named as a prime target for terrorism. The magazine contained instructions to build an “ember bomb” saying it was the best way to start destructive fires and detailed the best times of the year to begin fires in different parts of Australia.

Prior to the Boston Marathon bombings the “Lone Mujahid Pocketbook” was released online that said its contents were collected from Inspire Magazine Issues 1-10. Included in this publication were instructions on how to torch parked vehicles, cause road accidents, start forest fires, destroy buildings, and make bombs including using iron pipes, pressure cookers, fire extinguishers and empty propane canisters.

The Washington Post reported Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (Boston Marathon bombing) told investigators that he and his brother learned to make pressure cooker bombs from the online magazine. He also claims he was inspired by online sermons of Anwar al-Awlaki, editor of the magazine until he was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011. The latest issue of the magazine also has an article about the beheading of British soldier, Lee Rigby calling the act “the dear price” of Western oppression, and a small article about the Oklahoma tornadoes calling them “divine wrath.”

In one of the most recent cases of an “al-Qaeda inspired” plot, two people were arrested in Canada for attempting to detonate three pressure-cooker bombs at a Canada Day event on July 1. Authorities do not believe they had any personal ties to al-Qaeda, however with the easy availability of Inspire Magazine, potential Jihadis are easily inspired and equipped by the organization through a virtual relationship.

Prayer Points:

Al-Qaeda and its affiliates have been directly responsible for nearly 4,000 deaths since 1998, however many attempts by terrorists have been stopped. Thank God for his protection over our nations. Pray that He will continue to expose the terrorist and their threats before they are able to carry through with their plans.

Pray for law enforcement around the world – that they will not grow weary in their quest to stop attacks, that they will be supported in their efforts and be properly trained to understand the ideology behind groups such as al-Qaeda.

Pray that Christians will remain ever vigilant in prayer even after seasons such as Ramadan and the Night of Power are over so that even if the authorities do not announce a “specific” and “serious” threat, the intercessors will be aware and ready to intercede.

Ask God to reach the hearts of the terrorists with His love and conviction and give them a desire for a different way of life through Christ.

ReCap April 2013

ReCap LogoWelcome to the April edition of Best Current News’ ReCap series – brief summaries of selected articles chosen to keep you informed of threats to traditional Judeo-Christian values and western culture by Islamists. In each synopsis there are links provided to the original sources to provide you with more information. Simply click on the underlined portion of each entry in order to access the source information.

United States:  The U.S Army officially declined to award Purple Heart medals to the victims the shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas that occurred in November of 2009. The medal is presented to members of the military who are “wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States.” The Army said awarding the medal would “set the stage for a formal declaration that Major Hasan is a terrorist.” Thus far the U.S. government has classified the attack at Fort Hood as “workplace violence” rather than a terrorist attack.

United States: The Associated Press, reacting to pressure from the Council on American Islamic Relations  (CAIR) revised the term “Islamist” in their stylebook after CAIR complained the term had a negative connotation. The AP now instructs their stylebook subscribers that the term should not be used as “a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals.”

United States: The Arab American News reports the Dearborn (Michigan) public schools accommodate Muslim student led prayer in all the schools in the district. The Council for American-Islamic Relations is also meeting with other school districts to obtain similar accommodations.

United States: Fox News reports a U.S. Army training instructor included Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism as examples of religious extremism along with organizations such as Al Qaeda, and Hamas during a training brief. Also listed, as a form of religious extremism was the term “Islamophobia.” An Army spokesman said the matter was closed after the instructor removed the slide from the presentation and apologized.

United States: A second defendant in the June 2011 plot to attack a military installation in Seattle, Washington was sentenced to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty. Walli Mujahidh planned to use grenades and machine guns to attack the Military Entrance Processing Center.

United States: In two separate cases – one in New York and the other in Ohio, Muslim workers are suing their employers for denying workplace accommodations for their religious practices. U.S. employers are increasingly forced to allow Muslim workers time during the work day for prescribed times of prayer and time off on Fridays for weekly Muslim services.

United States: Sharif El-Gamal, the developer of the controversial Park51 also known as the “Ground Zero” mosque property purchased a five-story adjacent building to the sight. With this purchase he now controls three properties within the city block.

United States: Three Americans were killed and 264 were injured when two pressure cooker bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon on April 15. Chechen brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were identified as the bombers. After pictures were released of the suspects, they allegedly killed a MIT police officer, stole a car and initiated an exchange of gunfire with police injuring 16 police officers. Tamerlan was killed during the exchange. Dzhokhar escaped but was later apprehended by police. The brothers reportedly were motivated by extremist Islamist beliefs and learned how to make the bombs through consulting al Qaeda’s online magazine, Inspire.

United States: A Pennsylvania mother rescued her son who had been abducted by his father and was living in Egypt.  Kalliope (Kalli) Atteya traveled with her son and ex-husband, Mohamed to visit Mohamed’s aging mother in July of 2011. While there, her ex-husband abandoned Kalli on the side of the road and abducted their son. After numerous attempts to appeal to the Egyptian authorities for help, she sought the help of a private company. When the company failed to find her son, she hired a local guide who helped her find her son, and she personally rescued him, grabbing him as he stepped off a school bus in Alexandria, Egypt.  Atteya’s son is one of many American children abducted by a parent and taken to a foreign country. In 2011, there were more than 1,300 similar cases according to the U.S. State Department.

United States: The National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association developed a program called the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf which is a collection of 25 books, 4 DVDs and programming resources that have been given to 843 humanities councils, public, academic and community college libraries to use in presenting Islamic programs across the United States.

United States: The National Review reported there were at least 7,518 illegal aliens apprehended in 2011 from four nations that the U.S. government calls “state sponsors of terrorism” and ten additional “countries of interest.” The fourteen nations include Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen, Nigeria, Iraq and Cuba.

Canada: Chiheb Eseghaier and Raed Jaser suspected Al Qaeda terrorists were arrested for plotting to derail a New York to Toronto passenger train. According to Superintendent Doug Best of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police this was the first known Al Qaeda planned attack in Canada. CBC News reported that Canada had tried to deport Raed Jaser in 2004.

Canada: A Toronto single father was banned from watching his nine-year-old daughter’s swim class because of “religious reasons.”  The class listed on the city’s website did not indicate that males could not observe the lessons held at a public pool.  After the blinds to the viewing area were closed to him, the staff informed the father the policy was because of Muslim women. Female only swim programs began 20 years ago based on “accommodating cultural and religious practices and requirements.” Currently nine Toronto pools have female only swim programs.

Afghanistan: As Operation Enduring Freedom continues in Afghanistan 17 coalition military fatalities were reported in the month of April. This brings the total fatalities since the operation began in 2001 to 3,291 with the majority of the coalition fatalities (2,207) being U.S. soldiers.

Austria:  The Turkish Muslim community claims they successfully forced Lego, a Danish toy manufacturer to withdraw its production of a Star Wars toy set, Jabba’s Palace.” The toy based is off the 1983 film Return of the Jedi. Jabba the Hutt is a hookah-smoking villain who lives in a domed building that Muslims claimed resembled Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia mosque. Initially Lego denied the request to stop production of the toy, but after a meeting between Muslim leaders and Lego executives the company announced it would end production from 2014 onwards. According to the company, “’Jabba’s Palace’ was planned from the beginning to be in the assortment only until the end of 2013.”

Britain: A Christian worker, fired from Heathrow airport after five Muslim colleagues complained she was anti-Islamic won the right to appeal her unfair dismissal case. Nohad Halawi says she lost her job after expressing her concerns about intimidation that she received from Muslim workers at the airport. She lost her tribunal case in 2011, because it was ruled her job was part time and commissioned-based freelance rather than a staff employee.

Britain:  BBC Panorama released a program called “Secrets of Britain’s Sharia Councils.” The 29-minute program takes a look at sharia councils across Britain and how the rulings of these councils can oftentimes be in opposition to British laws. Among some of surprising findings are that Muslim women are obtaining Islamic marriages rather than civil marriages in Britain that are not recognized under British law. This means when it comes to divorce the women are not entitled to rights that a married couple under British civil law would possess.  It also means a Muslim man can take more than one wife since he is not married under British law.

Australia:  Qantas Airlines will no longer serve pork or meals prepared with alcohol because it is forbidden in Islam on flights to and from Europe because of its partnership with Middle Eastern airline Emirates. Because of the partnership, flights from Australia to Europe fly via Dubai instead of Singapore. Several other airlines also observe the Islamic ban including Virgin Australia who serves halal accredited meals on its flights to and from Abu Dhabi Halal simply means permitted and indicates the meat served has been prepared according to Islamic law.

Egypt: Violence continued against Egypt’s Coptic Christians as gangs of Muslims attacked St. Mark Cathedral during a funeral service for six slain Christians – including one intentionally set on fire. Two additional Christians were killed and hundreds forced to hide in the back of the Cathedral until the violence subsided. Raymond Ibrahim of FrontPage Magazine described the significance of the attack: “…this jihadi attack on St Mark Cathedral is no different for Copts than a jihadi attack on the Vatican would be for Catholics. Or, to maintain the analogy, but from the other side, it would be no different than a ‘crusader’ attack on the Grand Mosque of Mecca for Muslims.”