When war broke out in Egypt, in January 2011, U.S. Muslim activist Ahmed Bedier knew he had to get involved. Revolution in Egypt was in his DNA, passed down to him and his brothers by his Islamist father. While Bedier attempts to whitewash his and his family’s extremism – and the mainstream media has generally given him a pass – the truth must now be told, including the truth about his al-Qaeda supporting sibling.
Ahmed Mostafa Bedier – the middle name is from his father, Mostafa – moved to the United States from Egypt when he was eight years old, spending his youth in both Indiana and Oregon. When his parents relocated back to Egypt, he elected to remain, as he had gotten used to secular American society.
In time, Bedier headed south to sunny Florida, where he came to be somewhat of a financial success, purchasing real estate, shopping at upscale stores, and driving a fancy BMW.
Around 2000, though, Bedier’s life began to shift dramatically. He became an observant Muslim and started hanging out at a radical mosque, the Islamic Society of Pinellas County (ISPC). By his description, he traded his car for the Quran. He took a position as Outreach Director for the mosque and used it as a stepping stone to become the Communications Director of the Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group with strong ties to Hamas.
Coinciding with his new job at CAIR, Bedier got involved in the well-publicized case of terrorist Sami al-Arian, becoming al-Arian’s unofficial spokesman in the media. Al-Arian was a co-founder and the North American leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), an organization that targets Israeli civilians with suicide and rocket attacks and has also been responsible for the deaths of Americans. After a long, drawn-out trial, al-Arian was sentenced to prison for his involvement in the terror group.
During a December 2005 television interview of Bedier, when asked if he believed al-Arian’s involvement with PIJ was immoral, Bedier notoriously answered, “To a certain degree. Now, before 1995, there was nothing immoral about it.” This, while prior to 1995, PIJ took credit for five terrorist attacks – attacks which resulted in the murders of eight innocent people.
Today, Bedier is a Florida events coordinator for Islamic Relief (IR). In May 2006, Israel labeled IR a front for Hamas, after arresting the group’s Gaza program manager, Ayaz Ali, for providing “funds and assistance to various Hamas institutions and organizations.” Ali admitted that he had cooperated with local Hamas operatives.
One of the IR events Bedier was involved with was a December 2011 benefit dinner and concert titled ‘Songs for the Children.’ Speaking at the event was Kifah Mustapha, a Chicago-area imam who was named a co-conspirator by the U.S. Justice Department for two federal trials dealing with the financing of millions of dollars to Hamas. The Mosque Foundation, the center Mustapha is affiliated with, itself, has been a hub for Palestinian terror-related activity.
No doubt, much of Ahmed Bedier’s life has centered around individuals and groups seeking to do harm to Israel, so when the opportunity arose to throw Israel’s peace partner, Hosni Mubarak, and the rest of his cabinet out of power in Bedier’s birthplace, Bedier couldn’t wait to hop on a plane to assist.
January 25, 2011 marked the “Day of Rage” in Egypt, when thousands of young Egyptians took to the streets to riot and call for the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Muslims from around the world, including members of terrorist organizations, traveled to Egypt to join in the violence.
Ahmed Bedier has a number of family members in Egypt, including his parents, but that’s not why he was there in February 2011. He openly stated on his Tampa radio show, True Talk, in March of that year, “I went to Egypt for the revolution…” And he got what he wanted – the fall of Mubarak.
To mark the end of the Mubarak regime, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, the main group opposing Mubarak, traveled to Cairo to give a Friday sermon to the revolutionaries.
Qaradawi’s presence was a powerful statement in itself, as he had been banned from entering Egypt for the past three decades. Currently he is banned from entering the U.S. and England. According to The New York Times, over one million people packed Tahrir Square to hear his speech, including his prayer for the re-conquest of Jerusalem by the Muslims. Ahmed Bedier was a witness to it, as he broadcast his radio show live from the event.
On an undated video found on Bedier’s Facebook site, Bedier is standing with U.S. Representative Keith Ellison next to a crowd – also in Tahrir Square – while an elderly man in a baseball cap recites a poem about the revolution. It makes sense for Ellison to be at an event such as this, as he has regularly participated at various radical Muslim functions, including speaking engagements at conferences sponsored by the Minnesota chapter of the Muslim American Society (MAS-Minnesota), at the same time the group was propagating material on its website praising Hamas and calling for the murder of Jews.
Bedier’s younger brother, Abdellatif, accompanied Ahmed on his trip and acted as his cameraman. A picture of Abdellatif along with Ahmed and two other brothers on a boat can be found on Abdellatif’s Facebook page.
One of those brothers, Amir, became very involved in Egypt’s turmoil, so much so that he wound up getting shot in the face outside Mubarak’s executive office, where many clashes between police and rioters took place.
Ahmed Bedier created a graphic of the event, containing a photo of a smiling Amir, an x-ray of the bullet that was lodged in his neck, and an illustration of a person depicting where the bullet entered and where it now remains. One of Ahmed’s relatives, Reham Bedeer, posted the same graphic to her Facebook page, appending to it a gruesome photo of Amir lying near-dead on a hospital gurney with blood flowing from his eye.
In recounting the incident, Ahmed Bedier portrayed his brother as a saintly man. He wrote, “Last night my younger brother Amir was shot in the head outside the presidential palace… He went there, not to protest, but to help the injured… When we asked him who he thinks shot him, he did not blame opponents or supporters of [Mohamed] Morsi… WHEN THE MEDIA CAME TO INTERVIEW HIM TODAY AT THE HOSPITAL, because he was the only critically shot but survived, he refused to see them. Because he does not want the media to use his story to fuel more hate. Amir represents the good people of Egypt, the heroes. I’m proud of him…”
Brother Ashraf Bedier called him the “most peaceful person U’ll meet.”
However, just as he has many times in the past, when he’s labeled himself a “civil rights advocate,” Ahmed Bedier was not being honest about his brother. The truth is, Ahmed’s brother, Amir Bedier – the individual Ahmed said he’s proud of and the man Ashraf said is “peaceful” – is a follower of al-Qaeda.
Ahmed’s “hero” brother, just this month, posted to his Facebook page pictures of Osama bin Laden and bin Laden’s mentor, Abdullah Azzam. In fact, he changed his profile picture from one of him as a youngster playing with his brother Abdellatif to that of bin Laden. Now, his profile photo is that of Azzam.
One of Amir Bedier’s Facebook friends, Mohamed Arafa, ‘Liked’ Amir’s bin Laden posting. Arafa, who claims to be located in New York City, posted a bin Laden picture to his own Facebook page, stating about it in Arabic, “G-d’s mercy be upon you, oh Arab Sheikh, oh Emir of the Mujahideen, Sword of Islam.” He also posted a graphic of a bleeding red Star of David with the caption, “The World’s Leading Terrorist – Israel,” stating about it, “Let’s go guys kill those M****F****.” And he posted different pictures of Hitler, one with the following quote, “I killed half the Jews and left the other half for you to discover why I killed the first.”
Another friend of Amir’s, Karim Gamal, posted photos of bin Laden and current leader of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, to his Facebook page. And he used one of the bin Laden photos for his profile pic.
Yet another Facebook friend of Amir Bedier ironically goes by the name Osama but does not seem to have any affiliation with al-Qaida. It is Amir’s brother, Osama Bedier.
Like his older brother Ahmed, Osama came to the United States with his parents when he was a kid, and like Ahmed, when his parents went back to Egypt, he decided he wanted to keep the U.S. as his home. He created an internet networking and website development company with Ahmed – with two locations. Ahmed ran the main operation out of Tampa Bay, Florida, and Osama ran the sister office out of California, where he had settled and where he currently lives.
When Ahmed became radicalized, the company was abandoned. However, Osama stuck with the computing field, going to work for PayPal and then Google, where he just this month was ousted from his job after his Google Wallet creation had been deemed a failure. His departure from PayPal wasn’t on a positive note either, as PayPal had sued him for allegedly divulging “trade secrets” to Google.
Osama Bedier’s main focus may be computers, but he still has very strong views when it comes to his heritage. This past April, days after the Boston Marathon bombing, following the killing of bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the capture of suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Osama callously tweeted, “Study: Threat of Muslim-American terrorism in U.S. exaggerated” along with a link to the January 2010 article discussing the more-than-three-year-old study. Not one mention of the bombers or victims was made by Bedier.
On the day Hosni Mubarak stepped down as leader of Egypt, February 11, 2011, Osama Bedier, in his excitement, tweeted, “Welcome back [E]gypt, back on the road [to] your historic glory” and “So happy for the people’s revolution in my homeland.”
The revolution Osama Bedier was talking about was being led by the Muslim Brotherhood (mentioned earlier), an Islamist movement whose headquarters is located in Cairo, where the Bediers were born. For many Muslims, an Egypt ruled by Islam is the only preferred choice, even if the ruling group is a terrorist organization.
The extremist attitudes and actions of the Bedier brothers were passed down to them by the patriarch of the family, their father Mostafa.
When his son Ahmed created a graphic of Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq speaking with then-President Hosni Mubarak with the caption, “NO TO AHMAD SHAFIQ – Because a vote for Shafiq is a vote against the Revolution,” Mostafa placed it on his Facebook page and, above it in Arabic, wrote, “Choose Sharia.”
Sharia is the moral code and religious law of Islam. It can be interpreted to include such acts of brutality as the chopping off of limbs, the beating of disobedient wives, the stoning of suspected adulterers, and the throwing of homosexuals from tall buildings. Because of its violent nature, Sharia law has been deemed incompatible with democratic society and Western values, and this has caused some U.S. lawmakers to work to pass legislation banning it from being applied in American courts in cases involving Muslims.
Ahmed Bedier has been one of the leaders in the fight against such legislation, but given his Islamist background we can understand why.
To the joy of Ahmed Bedier and his Islamist father Mostafa, Ahmed Shafiq would lose his election to Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi. Since then, Morsi and his government allies passed a new Egyptian Constitution, which in fact did include Sharia law.
In November 2012, TIME magazine gave Morsi an exclusive interview to discuss a number of subjects, including Morsi’s beginnings with the Brotherhood. About this, Ahmed Bedier posted to Facebook – no doubt, echoing the twisted sentiments of his family – “It’s MORSI TIME!”
Beila Rabinowitz, director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.
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