LA Counterterrorism Unit Partners With Islamist Who Once Said Jihadists Are “Freedom Fighters”

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h/t Annie

The media and the government are reaching out to the people they believe are moderate Muslims, among them are The Islamic Center of Southern California and the Muslim Public Affairs Council. The counterterrorism unit in LA County is so sure they are moderates who can help fight terrorism that they have become in part a social work agency in charge of outreach to the leaders and members of these groups.

It’s a gamble but are they right? Are they moderates?

LA police Deputy Chief Michael Downing is the commanding officer of the counterterrorism and special operations bureau. He’s also believed by some to be the dupe of The Muslim Brotherhood in LA County.

A New York Times article of March 6th describes the outreach Downing has instituted with the Brotherhood organizations in LA. He says he has separated the outreach from the terrorism investigations and one can only hope that’s true. He has negotiated counterterrorism operations with them.

“He has delivered,” said Salam al-Marayati, 54, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a national advocacy group founded in Los Angeles. “He’s been outspoken against Islamophobia, and he’s stood up to criticism for listening to us.”

Downing and al-Marayati

Downing with al-Marayati

Al-Marayati is a founder of the taxpayer-funded MPAC.

He once suggested that Israel should be on the list of suspects for the 9/11 attack, a comment for which he has since apologized.

In the 1990s, he was sympathetic to violent jihad and referred to jihadists as “freedom fighters”. In 1993, he said, “When Patrick Henry said, ‘Give me liberty or give me death,’ that statement epitomized jihad.”

Andy McCarthy, currently writing for the National Review, described al-Marayati’s affinities:

In 1996, for instance, a Palestinian terrorist named Muhammad Hamida plowed his car into a crowded Jerusalem bus stop, killing one Israeli and injuring 23 others as he screamed “Allahu Akbar!” He was shot on the scene, before he could do any more harm. Immediately afterwards, while mum on the jihadist’s atrocity, Marayati demanded that the shooters of the jihadist be extradited to the United States to face trial on “terrorism charges” for this “provocative act.”

Meanwhile, in a 1999 PBS interview, Marayati portrayed Hezbollah attacks as “legitimate resistance” — a position that dovetailed perfectly with the sentiments of MPAC’s founders. In fact, in a position paper published around the same time, MPAC minimized Hezbollah’s murder of 241 U.S. military personnel in the 1983 terrorist suicide bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon: “This attack, for all the pain it caused, was not in a strict sense a terrorist operation. It was a military operation, producing no civilian casualties — exactly the kind of attack that Americans might have lauded had it been directed against Washington’s enemies.”

Andy McCarthy is the former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. He led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others.

On August 10, 2006 the London Metropolitan Police announced that it had arrested key suspects in a terrorist plot to detonate bombs on a number of flights from the UK to cities in the U.S. and that the plot had been disrupted as it was “getting close to the execution phase”, with a dry run planned within two days of the arrests according to U.S. intelligence officials. When George Bush referred to the planned attack as ‘Islamic fascism’, MPAC criticized the use of the term. The term ‘radical Islam’ gets the same treatment from MPAC.

In this short video, you will hear the name Hassan al Banna. Al-Banna started The Muslim Brotherhood.

Stick with the video until after two minutes when the police chief explains what is going on from his perspective. Especially note that U.S. grant money is going for The First American University to train imams in America.

Maher Hathout was the beloved leader of the Islamic Center of Southern California up until his death earlier this year. He was a founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. He called President Bill Clinton a terrorist, has praised Hezbollah, and is opposed to Israel’s existence, algemeiner reports.

Hathout

On September 17, 1993, the Islamic Center of Southern California (which he headed) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (which he founded and was still a major figure in) signed a public statement declaring that “the establishment by force, violence, and terrorism of a Jewish state in Palestine in 1948″ was “unjust” and “a crime.” They pledged to “work to overturn the injustice.”

Speaking at California State University-Fullerton on May 6, 2001, Hathouht declared that “the United States is also under Israeli occupation.”

Algemeiner wrote that when President Bill Clinton took action against terrorists in Sudan and Afghanistan in 1998, here is how the moderate, patriotic, anti-terrorist Hathout responded: “Our country is committing an act of terrorism. What we did is illegal, immoral, unhuman [sic], unacceptable, stupid and un-American. If our country commits hate crimes, we should not expect the uneducated to do the same.”

Also from Algemeiner: The Minaret is the official publication of Hathout’s Islamic Center, and he and his brother, Hassan, are two of the six members of the editorial board. Some choice editorials in the Minaret over the years included one praising French Holocaust-denier Roger Garaudy, and one declaring that “supporters of Israel have created a quiet reign of terror in the U.S. People cannot speak loudly against the apartheid policies of Israel.”

The following is from the Center’s Facebook page.

attitude towards Gaza

The Center is doing a lot of outreach. The following is from their Facebook page.

Islamic Center of Southern California

My question is do they visit synagogues and Christian churches also?