The Pentagon has agreed to formally review an anti-terror training program taught to special forces by a private contractor for material deemed offensive to Islam and Muslims, even though the Muslim group that lodged a complaint against the allegedly “Islamophobic” program has been accused by the Justice Department of supporting terrorism and is currently banned from outreach activities by the FBI.
The instructor hired to teach the program says he fears his class might not get a fair hearing, because military brass have assigned the review to a Muslim military chaplain who graduated from a radical Saudi-funded Islamic school raided by federal agents after 9⁄11 on suspicion of terrorist activities. He is their second choice for conducting the review. They had originally picked a more radical military chaplain to inspect the training materials before learning he has ties to an imam with a history of ministering to Muslims later convicted of terrorism.
Brass decided to launch the review after receiving a letter from the Council on American-Islamic Relations last month demanding the commander of US Air Force Special Operations sever ties with longtime counterterrorism instructor Patrick Dunleavy, claiming his lessons “contain anti-Islamic content.” CAIR, a suspected terrorist front organization, did not cite any examples of content from his “Dynamics of International Terrorism” course to support its claim.
Dunleavy formerly served as deputy inspector general of New York State prisons’ criminal intelligence division and also worked with the NYPD’s intelligence division for several years. His five-day course, which he’s taught complaint-free at the AIr Force for several years, covers homegrown terrorism and prison radicalization, which tie directly into recent ISIS cases.CAIR claims to be a “Muslim civil-rights organization,” but the feds have ID’d
CAIR and its founder as “members of the US Muslim Brotherhood,” while designating them both as “unindicted co-conspirators” in a 2008 terror-financing case involving Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and a US-designated terrorist group.
“From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists,” US prosecutors charged in one court filing.
As a result, the FBI has cut off ties to CAIR until investigators “can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and Hamas.”
Air Force Special Operations commander Lt. Gen. Marshal Webb received the CAIR letter and, in turn, ordered Special Operations School commandant Lt. Col. Christopher Portele to initiate a review. It is not clear if Webb is aware of CAIR’s well-documented support of terrorists. A spokeswoman did not return calls seeking comment.
Dunleavy says top brass more than likely are in the dark about the extent of CAIR’s terrorism ties. “I’m sure they don’t have a complete knowledge of CAIR or other Muslim Brotherhood groups,” he said in an interview.
He notes that the military also has a problem vetting Islamic clergy.
Air Force chaplain Walid Habash is expected to begin reviewing slides from Dunleavy’s lesson material later this week, despite the fact that he received his Islamic education from a radical Muslim Brotherhood school in Virginia. Habash’s alma mater the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences, or GSISS, was raided by federal agents in 2002 as part of a post-9⁄11 terrorism investigation. The longtime director of GSISS — Saudi-tied Taha Jabir Alalwani — is an unindicted co-conspirator in two federal prosecutions related to terrorist financing.
Other GSISS alumni include former New York prison chaplain Warith Deen Umar, who preached that the 9-11 hijackers should be honored as martyrs and that black converts to Islam are natural recruits for carrying out future attacks against the US.
Habash has led Islamic prayer service at the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention camp. In 2005, the FBI busted up what was described as an Islamist “spy ring” for al-Qaida at Gitmo involving other Muslim military chaplains, as well as Arabic translators, accused of “serious breaches of national security.”
Habash was substituted last week for Muslim military chaplain Rafael Lantigua after Air Force brass learned of his radical associations, apparently for the first time.
It turns out that Lantigua sits on the board of directors of an Islamist group with a radical cleric who ran a New York mosque where the terrorists who plotted to bomb synagogues in the Bronx were radicalized. That 2009 case – which touches the cleric, Imam Salahuddin Muhammad – is one of Dunleavy’s presentation slides. Muhammad, a former convicted armed bank robber, was a protege of Umar.
In addition, Lantigua recently spoke at a New York Islamic conference where cop-killer Jamil Al-Amin and Luqman Abdullah, a Detroit imam killed in a shootout with the FBI, were honored. Muhammad gave the keynote address at the February event.
Once this information came to light, and questions were raised over how impartial Lantigua, who holds the rank of captain, could be regarding the subject of Islamic radicalization in the prisons, Air Force brass began a search for a new Muslim chaplain to review Dunleavy’s lesson plan.
“The military has an ongoing problem vetting their Muslim clergy,” Dunleavy told me. “Nobody wants to touch this political powder keg.”
In a press release CAIR communications director Ibrahim Hooper accused Dunleavy of being an “anti-Muslim propaganda mouthpiece” with a “personal prejudice against Islam and Muslims.” The same spokesman once told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that he wants the US to become a Muslim country.
“I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future,” Hooper said, betraying CAIR’s real agenda.
Nonetheless, CAIR has found success already in convincing law enforcement to alter training programs, including bleaching references to “Islam,” “Shariah,” “caliphate” and “jihad” and other allegedly offensive terms from state and federal anti-terrorist training materials. It has also pressured the sidelining of some instructors.
Emboldened, the group is now targeting military training curricula for censorship. Dunleavy is just the latest subject-matter expert targeted for a smear campaign.
He and other trainers chiefly blame “political correctness” for the capitulation to CAIR at the highest levels of government. Talking honestly about the violent nature of Islam, a minority religion, is taboo in Washington. It’s much safer for career advancement to apologize for it — even though officials know that sweeping the religious doctrines and motives behind growing Islamic terrorism under the rug won’t make them disappear. In fact, it will only lead to more attacks and more American victims.
“The concerted effort by groups like CAIR to remove any material from law enforcement or military training that outlines the process of Islamic radicalization is fraught with danger,” Dunleavy warned, particularly in light of the case of the Paris terrorist Karim Cheurfi.
Cheurfi, an ISIS-tied Muslim who last week fatally shot a police officer while wounding two others with an AK-47, had all the indicators outlined by Dunleavy in the material the Pentagon is now second-guessing thanks to CAIR protesting. They include: prison radicalization, exposure to radical Islamic preachers, and attraction to jihadi violence. In spite of these and other warning signs, Cheurfi escaped close monitoring by authorities. Identifying ingredients in this “radicalizing cauldron” is key to authorities stopping such jihadists, says Dunleavy, author of “The Fertile Soil of Jihad: Terrorism’s Prison Connection.”
It’s also important for screening military recruits, especially now that the Pentagon has started issuing more waivers for applicants with prison records.
Dunleavy says the government is basically letting supporters of the bad guys — working on both the outside and inside — blindfold law enforcement and military personnel to the point where they can’t effectively spot the bad guys.
Indeed, his case is the latest example of how baseless charges of “Islamophobia” and “anti-Muslim bigotry” are used to hamstring legitimate counterterrorism efforts, which will only pave the way for more islamic terror attacks in the future.
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