Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
In April, the Los Angeles Times ran an op-ed complaining that Muslims were being singled out in airports. “Does the 4th Amendment apply to Muslim citizens at LAX?” Lubana Adi, its author, fumed.
Adi, a Syrian, told a sob story about visiting her “aged mother” and two brothers who were refugees in Turkey. Then airport security “groped” under her Hijab and demanded that she empty her purse. They wanted to know why she had visited a border city and where all the money she was carrying had gone.
“President Trump’s new security regime wastes yet more of our time and our taxpayer money and shows outright scorn for the spirit of the 4th Amendment,” Adi complained.
The Los Angeles Times felt that the story was so important that it needed to be referenced in future pieces as an example of the abuses that Muslims face in this country.
It was a shocking Islamophobic outrage. But now the Times is telling another story.
This one mentions that a business owner by the name of Rashid Jijakli had been indicted for smuggling military equipment to Jihadis in Syria. Jijakli had smuggled the equipment to Syria through Turkey.
What it neglects to mention is that Rashid Jijakli’s wife is Lubana Adi. But Adi mentioned that in her own op-ed. “I had later met and married a Syrian-American U.S. citizen, Rashid Jijakli.” The registry for the Palmyra Corporation, the check cashing business which Jijakli had used to fund the smuggling, lists his address as a home in Walnut, California that appears to be owned by him and Lubana Adi whose past media and social media mentions place her in the same locale.
This evidence would suggest that the Los Angeles Times ran an op-ed blaming Islamophobia for being subjected to extra scrutiny on a trip back from Turkey by the wife of a man who had smuggled illegal items to Islamic fighters through Turkey.
Rather than being singled out due to “Islamophobia”, the more likely explanation is that her husband was already on the radar of the authorities.
According to the indictment, the smuggling scheme began in 2012.
Rashid Jijakli aided in the smuggling of assorted military equipment, including rifle sights, night vision scopes and other materials. He crossed over into Syria, personally smuggled some of the equipment and may have even participated in the fighting. In one communication he complains that his trip to Syria hadn’t been much fun because he was unable to “join with (sic) some action.” In another, he tells an unindicted coconspirator that a “Russian weapon” would be available for him.
It’s unknown which specific group of fighters Jijakli was aiding. But Lubana Adi’s Facebook page includes an enthusiastic endorsement of a Syrian American Council event with Sheikh Saria Rifai. The Sheikh and his brother Osama head up the Syrian Islamic Scholars Association. They fled Syria for Saudi Arabia after Assad Sr. defeated the Muslim Brotherhood in the eighties. Their father had been a prominent Muslim Brotherhood member. Osama played a major role in the Brotherhood's League of the Syrian Ulema which dominated the Syrian Islamic Council.
“Don't miss out this event,” Lubana Adi had written. “Come and support, I am here& there to help.”
Adi promoted another event featuring Sheikh Karim Rajeh, chair of the Syrian Association of Islamic Scholars, and an ally of the Rifais. She frequently shared other Syrian Islamic Council events.
The Syrian American Council is interlinked with Muslim Brotherhood front groups such as CAIR.
Mohammed Alla Ghanem, the government relations director for SAC, had praised Qaradawi, the Brotherhood figure who had called for the murder of American soldiers and Jews. The Syrian Jihadists whom Ghanem had defended included the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda and Ahrar al-Sham: a Jihadist group that had massacred Christians.
It is highly likely that whatever group Rashid Jijakli supported was Islamist. And linked to the Brotherhood. If not worse.
“Like any loyal citizen, I want my country protected from any and all terrorist threats. But such ‘unreasonable searches’ are a waste of taxpayer money,” Adi had written.
But it was all a matter of how you define “terrorist”.
Lubana Adi has made regular appearances in the media. She could be seen at a vigil against Islamophobia and a protest against China. The Los Angeles Times had sympathetically profiled her participation in an MPAC rally against America and Israel.
As American soldiers were battling Islamic terrorists in Iraq and Israeli soldiers were being killed by Hamas, Adi was quoted as declaring that she had come to "support the Iraqis and Palestinians who are dying there.”
MPAC is closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. Maher Hathout, whom the Times article claimed was there to pray for peace, was a Muslim Brotherhood member who had defended Islamic terrorists.
But the media, as usual, is curiously uncurious about such things. And the lies continue.
Did Lubana Adi know what was going on? The indictment contains an extended list of unindicted coconspirators. And Adi spent most of her time on social media fulminating over the religious war between Sunnis and Shiites in her homeland. If she knew, then whether or not she actively participated in the smuggling, she had a very good idea of exactly why she had been singled out for screening.
If so, she chose to write an angry op-ed to intimidate the authorities while misleading the paper.
But don’t expect the Los Angeles Times to be upset or offended that it may have been used as cover in a military equipment smuggling scheme to terrorists. The media has no ethics, dignity or patriotism left.
Lubana Adi’s original claim that she was the victim of Islamophobia will continue circulating. The likelihood of the media linking its original viral story to Rashid Jijakli is minimal. That would undermine its narrative that law enforcement is motivated by an unjustified hatred for Muslims rather than acting based on a fully justified effort to protect our country and other countries from Islamic terrorists.
And to end the financial pipeline from Islamic settlers in America to Islamic Jihadis abroad.
Islamophobia has become a universal solvent. Everyone from Imran Awan, the Pakistani hacker at the center of the House Dem scandal to the wife of a military equipment smuggler, blame Islamophobia.
“Is America safer when agents spend hours interrogating an American citizen with no criminal record or terrorist associations?” Adi asked. As she ended up demonstrating, the answer is undeniably yes.