Post Belatedly Recognizes Growing Internal Terrorist Threat

July 18, 2011

In the “better-late-than-never” department, The Washington Post has devoted 3,783 words to Abdirizak Bihi, a Muslim activist trying to counter radical Islamic activities in Minnesota and the recruitment of Muslim youth in America by a “shadowy network of recruiters.” This is the same individual who got little attention from the Post when he testified on March 10 before Rep. Peter King’s Homeland Security Committee.

The Post is finally confirming in dramatic detail the nature of the internal terrorist threat in the United States.

But you may recall that the liberal media tried to demonize King for even holding the hearings.

This is how the Post then reported on Bihi: “Abdirizak Bihi, a Somali American from Minnesota, described how a nephew turned radical and left to fight with an Islamic militia in Somalia. He said religious leaders had discouraged him from going to the authorities, warning that ‘you will have eternal fire and hell’ for betraying Islam.”

We noted at the time that the media, including the Post, had focused on Rep. Keith Ellison’s testimony, during which he broke down in tears, but that Bihi, Director of the Somali Education and Social Advocacy Center in Minneapolis, had been offering something more newsworthy—an indictment of Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress, himself.

As noted in advance by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, “Bihi has been publicly critical of Ellison’s handling of the disappearance of some 20 Somali youths recruited by a Jihadist group in their native country.” Bihi’s nephew Burhan Hassan was killed in Somalia after traveling there to join al-Shabab, a terrorist organization working to overthrow the Somali government.

Ellison is the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a left-wing attorney once associated with the communist-front National Lawyers Guild. Ellison had been a vocal supporter—and attended a fundraiser for—Sara Jane Olson, a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), an off-shoot of the Weather Underground that is probably best known for kidnapping Patricia Hearst. Ellison had called Olson a “freedom fighter.”

We noted, “This notorious record suggests that if Ellison had trouble recognizing the nature of terrorism when the radical left carried it out on American soil, he may have a similar blind spot when it comes to members of his own religious group.”

What the Post failed to report on, at the time of King’s hearings, was Bihi’s statement, “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response.”

The Post now seems to be taking the problem seriously. It reports, “There have been 51 homegrown jihadist plots or attacks in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, according to law enforcement reports, and their frequency is increasing. Nowhere else is the problem of radicalization so concentrated as in Bihi’s section of downtown Minneapolis, where about 10,000 Somali immigrants live in a collection of faded apartment towers bordering the freeway. At least 25 young men have disappeared from here to fight for al-Shabab in the past three years, and dozens more are being investigated on suspicion of recruiting or fundraising on behalf of the terrorist organization. None so far have tried to attack in the United States, but intelligence gathered by law enforcement suggests that they will.”

Notice how the number of missing youth has gone from 20 to 25.

Yet, in its Sunday follow-up article, there is no mention of the role of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in discouraging a legitimate inquiry and solution to the problem in America’s Muslim communities.

Bihi had testified, “Just as we continued to make progress in laying out the realities to our community, powerful organizations such as CAIR stepped into our community and stifled whatever progress we had made by trying to tell our Somali American community not to cooperate with law enforcement. CAIR held meetings for some members of the community and told them not to talk to the FBI, which was a slap in the face of the Somali American Muslim mothers who were knocking on doors day and night with pictures of their missing children and asking for the community to talk to law enforcement about what they know of the missing kids. It was a slap in the face for community activists who had invested time and personal resources to educate the community about forging a good relationship with law enforcement in order to stop the radicalization and recruitment of our children. We held three different demonstrations against CAIR, in order to get them to leave us alone so we can solve our community’s problems, since we don’t know CAIR and they don’t speak for us. We wanted to stop them from dividing our community by stepping into issues that don’t belong to them.”

The Post’s omission of CAIR in its lengthy article about Bihi is significant because Josh Gerstein of Politico reported that Attorney General Eric Holder has confirmed that the Department of Justice decided not to prosecute a key leader of CAIR. Rep. Peter King had said that he was informed that the decision not to prosecute came over “the vehement and stated objections of special agents and supervisors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dallas, who had investigated and successfully prosecuted the Holy Land Foundation case.”

Judge Jorge Solis declined an attempt by CAIR to remove the organization’s designation as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Holy Land Foundation lawsuit, saying that the government “has produced ample evidence to establish the associations” of CAIR with Hamas, an officially designated foreign terrorist organization.

Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice (DOJ) for failing to respond to its request for public records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) relating to the decision by the DOJ not to prosecute CAIR and its co-founder Omar Ahmad.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has made headlines by saying, “I was convinced in my capacity [as CIA Director] and I’m convinced in this capacity that we’re within reach of strategically defeating Al Qaeda.” But the threat inside the United States, belatedly recognized by The Washington Post, continues to grow.

The Post reports that “Bihi guesses that as many as 25 more will fall prey to al-Shabab recruiters before school begins this fall.” He says, “Unless we figure out a way to stop this soon, we are headed for disaster.”

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