Two U.S. Islamic Groups Called Terrorist by U.A.E.

A U.S.-based pro-Muslim group that enjoys close ties with the Obama administration has landed on one Arab nation’s list of terrorist organizations.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was one of 82 groups around the world designated terrorist organizations by the United Arab Emirates, placing it in the company of Al Qaeda, Islamic State and others. While CAIR has previously been linked to Hamas, it has held hundreds of meetings with White House officials on a wide range of community issues and has sought to present itself as a mainstream Muslim organization.

“We call on the United Arab Emirates cabinet to review this list and remove organizations such as CAIR, the Muslim American Society (MAS) and other civil society organizations that peacefully promote civil and democratic rights and that oppose terrorism whenever it occurs, wherever it occurs and whoever carries it out,” CAIR wrote in a statement on its Facebook page, which also called its inclusion on the UAE list a “bizarre move.”

“Whereas they appear in our media and meet with our officials, the UAE views them as extremists unworthy of being treated as representatives of Muslims.”- Ryan Mauro, The Clarion Project

Despite its good standing in Washington, CAIR has had its share of controversy. In 2007, the organization was named along with 300 others as an unindicted co-conspirator in a case regarding funding to extremist group Hamas. Its critics have long accused the group of having ties to groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

Some terrorism experts applauded the UAE’s designation, saying CAIR is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The United Arab Emirates could have banned the Muslim Brotherhood and left it at that,” Ryan Mauro, a national security analyst for the Clarion Project, told “Instead, they went the extra mile to call out major Brotherhood affiliates in Europe and the U.S. The point that the UAE is making is that the Brotherhood operates in the West and it is worried about these affiliates’ influence on Western policy.

“Federal prosecutors have explicitly named CAIR and MAS as Muslim Brotherhood entities, yet the UAE is expressing more public concern about this than the U.S. does,” Mauro added. “Whereas they appear in our media and meet with our officials, the UAE views them as extremists unworthy of being treated as representatives of Muslims.”

CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said his organization, as well as other Muslims who are against terrorism, are often unfairly portrayed

“Obama provided examples of religious leaders engaged in the ideological fight against extremism, quoting a Muslim sheikh who said, ‘We must declare war on war, so the outcome will be peace upon peace,’” Hooper said. “That sheikh is Abdullah bin Bayyah, a 79-year-old cleric who, even though lauded on the world stage for his recent efforts at peacemaking, is dogged by controversy over connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The UAE’s list was likely to ratchet up the pressure on the Muslim Brotherhood by lumping it together with extremists such as the Islamic State and Al Nusra, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.

The move follows a decision by Saudi Arabia in March to designate the Brotherhood a terrorist group along with Al Qaeda and others. The Emirates voiced support for the decision at the time, and accused Islamist groups of trying to topple its Western-backed ruling system.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have taken a firm stance against the Muslim Brotherhood since its ascendance in Egypt in the wake of the Arab Spring, and the oil-rich Gulf neighbors are strong supporters of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. He was elected earlier this year after leading the military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Officials at the U.S. State Department did not immediately return comment when asked about the UAE’s designation list.



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Pope Francis: Muslim leaders should condemn terrorism

Pope Francis has urged Muslim leaders around the world to condemn terrorism carried out in the name of Islam.

Speaking on board a flight back to Rome, the Pope said that he understood the harm caused by the stereotype that linked Islam with terrorism.

He said a “global condemnation” of the violence would help the majority of Muslims dispel this stereotype.

Pope Francis was returning from a three-day visit to Turkey, where he discussed divisions between faiths.

The pontiff denounced people who say that “all Muslims are terrorists”.

“As we cannot say that all Christians are fundamentalists,” he said.

In Istanbul, Pope Francis called for an end to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

In a joint declaration, the Pope and Patriarch Bartholomew I said they could not resign themselves to a “Middle East without Christians”.

Patriarch Bartholomew is the spiritual leader of the world’s 250 million Orthodox Christians, whose Church broke with Rome in 1054 in a schism that divided the Christian world.

Constantinople, as the modern Turkish city of Istanbul was once known, was the centre of Orthodox Christianity until the Ottoman conquest in 1453.

Only around 120,000 Christians remain in Turkey, where the vast majority of the 80 million citizens are Muslims.

Pope Francis also called for dialogue with Muslims to counter fanaticism and fundamentalism when he visited the Turkish capital, Ankara.

‘Indifference of many’

Pope Francis flanked by Vatican spokesman father Federico Lombardi talks to journalists during a press conference aboard the flight towards Rome Pope Francis was returning to Rome after his three-day visit to Turkey when he made his latest comments

Christians have been targeted by Muslim hardliners in Iraq and Syria in recent years, with a violent campaign of persecution by Islamic State militants this summer when they captured the Iraqi city of Mosul.

In their joint declaration, the two Church leaders said: “We express our common concern for the current situation in Iraq, Syria and the whole Middle East.

“Many of our brothers and sisters are being persecuted and have been forced violently from their homes. It even seems that the value of human life has been lost, that the human person no longer matters and may be sacrificed to other interests. And, tragically, all this is met by the indifference of many.”

The pontiff and the patriarch also called for peace in Ukraine.

The violent conflict in Ukraine this year has accentuated differences between its large Orthodox and Catholic communities.

The Pope and the patriarch said: “We pray for peace in Ukraine, a country of ancient Christian tradition, while we call upon all parties involved to pursue the path of dialogue and of respect for international law in order to bring an end to the conflict and allow all Ukrainians to live in harmony.”

As his visit drew to a close, Pope Francis met Turkey’s chief rabbi, whose flock has diminished to just 17,000 people.

At the Blue Mosque on Saturday, one of the greatest masterpieces of Ottoman architecture, the Pope turned east towards Mecca, clasped his hands and paused for two minutes as the Grand Mufti of Istanbul, Rahmi Yaran, delivered a Muslim prayer.

The Pope then visited Hagia Sofia – which for almost 1,000 years was the most important Orthodox cathedral, then for nearly five centuries a mosque under the Ottomans, and is currently a museum.

For Istanbul, a city that passed from the Byzantines to the Ottomans, a place where religions, empires and cultures collided, the Pope’s message of interfaith dialogue has profound resonance, says the BBC’s Mark Lowen in Istanbul.

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Jerusalem ‘terrorist attack': British-born grandfather and three US citizens identified as four killed in synagogue by Palestinian terrorists

A British-Israeli national has been identified as one of five people killed by knife-wielding attackers in a Jerusalem synagogue today.

Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68, and three US-Israeli citizens died when two assailants, described by Israeli police as ‘terrorists’ went on a killing spree armed with a pistol and a meat cleaver in a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof  neighbourhood. An Israeli police officer, 30-year-old Zidan Saif, died later after being taken to hospital with critical injuries.

Rabbi Goldberg lived in Golders Green, London, for a number of years before moving to Israel, Haaretz reports.

Haaretz identified the other victims as US-born Aryeh Kupinsky, 43, and Kalman Zeev Levine, 55, both residents of Har Nof, and Mosheh Twersky, 59, the grandson of one of the founders of the Modern Orthodox movement and a teacher at a Jerusalem seminary.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office said: “We are aware of the death of a dual British-Israeli national in Israel on 18 November 2014. ”

Rabbi Goldberg’s cousin, Michelle Hirschfield, said he “was a peaceful man, not politically involved. He only wanted peace.”

Eight others were injured in the attack. One worshipper at the service said about 25 people were praying when shooting broke out. He told Israel Radio: “I looked up and saw someone shooting people at point-blank range. Then someone came in with what looked like a butcher’s knife and he went wild.”

Photos distributed by Israeli authorities showed a man in a prayer shawl lying dead, a bloodied butcher’s cleaver on the floor and prayer books covered in blood.

Police said the attackers, who were shot dead by police, were Palestinian cousins from East Jerusalem.


The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a militant group, said the cousins were its members.

Palestinian media named the attackers as Ghassan and Udai Abu Jamal, cousins from the Jerusalem district of Jabal Mukaber, where clashes broke out as Israeli security forces moved in to make arrests.

The alleged terrorists, cousins Rasan (or Ghassan) and Uday (or Oday) Abu Jamal, residents of Jabel MukaberThe alleged terrorists, cousins Rasan (or Ghassan) and Uday (or Oday) Abu Jamal, residents of Jabel Mukaber

On Tuesday evening, police said they were investigating claims that a Palestinian was stabbed in the leg and hospitalised by three Jewish assailants in downtown Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, thousands of people have attended a joint funeral for Mr Kupinsky, Mr Levine and Mr Goldberg held before sundown outside the synagogue where the attack occurred.

Following the incident, Israel’s public security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, vowed to ease restrictions on carrying firearms for self-defense.

It was not clear when the new measures would be put into place, but Mr Aharonovitch said the rule would apply to anyone licensed to carry a gun in Jerusalem such as private security guards and off-duty army officers, the Times of Israel reported.

Mr Aharonovitch added that the government had instructed synagogues to place security guards at their entrances.

In addition, police officers have raised the threat level in the city to one below the highest, and patrols around religious buildings and holy including mosques and synagogues would be enhanced.

Earlier, Hamas praised the attack, saying it was a “response to continued Israeli crimes, the killing, desecrating al-Aqsa (mosque)”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  condemned Tuesday’s violence as a “cruel murder of Jews who came to pray and were killed by despicable murderers and vowed to “respond with a heavy hand”.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack, the first time he has done so since a recent spike in deadly violence.

In a statement, his office said he “condemns the killing of the worshippers in a synagogue in west Jerusalem”. The statement called for an end to the “invasion” of the mosque at the holy site and a halt to “incitement” by Israeli ministers.

US President Barack Obama also expressed his disapproval of the attack in which three US-Israeli dual nationals were killed, and called on both sides to co-operate with each other and “reject violence”.

“I strongly condemn today’s terrorist attack on worshipers at a synagogue in Jerusalem,” Obama said in a statement. “There is and can be no justification for such attacks against innocent civilians,” he said.

He added: “At this sensitive moment in Jerusalem, it is all the more important for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence, and seek a path forward towards peace.”

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Islamic State: Boy on life as a hostage: students tortured, beaten and hung; forced to learn the Quran.

In April 150 students from Kobane were kidnapped by Islamic State militants, while they were on their way home from taking exams in Aleppo. Reshwan was held as hostage for four months until he was released in October. Mehrdad Farahmand from the BBC spoke to him on the Turkish side of the border, close to where he lives now with his family.

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British medical student seen beheading Syrian soldier on latest Islamic state video release

British medical student ‘in Jihadi beheading video’: 20-year-old ‘appears next to Jihadi John’ in sickening film

  • Nasser Muthana’s father said he was among the 16 jihadists in the video
  • The Cardiff student previously appeared in an ISIS propaganda film
  • Sickening video posted on YouTube shows body of Peter Kassig 
  • ‘Jihadi John’ warned David Cameron of ‘slaughter on our streets’

By Larisa Brown and Andy Dolan and Daniel Martin for the Daily Mail
Published: 22:41, 16 November 2014 |


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Nasser Muthana is said to appear in the sickening video which shows the decapitated body of an American aid worker [photo: themuslimissue]

A UK medical student was last night suspected of being in an Islamic State killing squad that murdered 17 hostages.

The father of Nasser Muthana said the 20-year-old appeared to be among 16 jihadists who were filmed beheading Syrian soldiers in the desert.

The sickening video that was on YouTube for an hour yesterday morning also shows the decapitated body of Peter Kassig, a 26-year-old American aid worker.

Ahmed Muthana said: ‘I cannot be certain but it looks like my son. He must fear Allah now for killing people. How can he expect to face Allah if he is killing human beings?’

Asked if he would forgive his son if he returned home to Cardiff, the 57-year-old replied: ‘No, he must be mentally ill – either that or there is something else not right.’

Analysts believe the murder video is an attempt by Islamic State to provoke the West into an all-out assault and ‘final battle’.

As Jihadi John, the British leader of the killing squad, warned David Cameron of slaughter on our streets:

The former Chief of the General Staff said Britain may need to ‘think the unthinkable’ and send ground troops to take on Islamic State forces;

Mr Cameron said the beheadings underlined the ‘deplorable depths’ the ‘depraved’ terrorists were prepared to go to;

The acts were described as ‘13th-century barbarism’ by former PM John Major;

Friends of Mr Kassig said he may have refused to make a propaganda statement before he was murdered;

Barack Obama described Mr Kassig’s murder as an ‘act of pure evil’.

The footage showed John and 15 other unmasked extremists brutally decapitating Syrian army hostages.

Speaking with his distinct British accent, John issued a blood curdling threat to slaughter people on the streets of Britain.

The Foreign Office said yesterday it was investigating unconfirmed claims that John had been recently wounded in an airstrike by the Americans.

Nasser Muthana appeared in an ISIS video in June
The 20-year-old was a student in Cardiff
The British jihadists’s father said while he cannot be sure, one of the men looks like his son. Muthana appeared in an ISIS propaganda video earlier this year (left) after leaving his hometown Cardiff (right)

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Unmasked: The 16 followers of Jihadi John prepare to behead the Syrian soldiers they have held hostage.Nasser Muthana from Cardiff is to the right of John, who is dressed in black with a balaclava [Photo: themuslimissue]
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[Nasser Muthana is the third jihadi from the right. Photo: themuslimissue]
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[The Syrian soldier beheaded by Nasser Muthana. Photo: themuslimissue]

It is unclear when the horrific but slickly-produced film was shot but it is markedly more graphic than previous videos and the final act of beheading a long line of hostages is not blacked out. Mr Kassig, who converted to Islam in captivity, becomes the fifth Western victim to be beheaded.

Last night, the former Chief of the General Staff, Lord Dannatt, said: ‘We need to keep all options open if we are to defeat IS. Are we just going to wish this away, or are we going to take action?’

The Foreign Office confirmed they were ‘looking into’ claims that Muthana, who left his family to train with extremists in Syria, was one of the militants in the footage.

Muthana was exposed as a terrorist in training after he appeared in a recruitment video for the insurgent group in June, devastating the family he left behind in Cardiff after it was circulated on the internet.

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[Nasser Muthana is the second terrorist from the right. Photo: themuslimissue]

wlokareh1.mp4 2014-11-16 16-10-53

A prospective medical student, he was joined in Syria by his younger brother Aseel, 17, who has spoken of his willingness to die fighting. After arriving in the country, Muthana threatened to use his terror ‘skills’ when he returned to the UK.

Charlie Winter, from the Qulliam Think Tank, said: ‘It looks like Nasser Muthana is in the video. The video is far more graphic than other videos. It is reflective of perhaps IS trying to be defiant in the face of increased pressure.

‘Things aren’t going well for them at the moment and this is a message of defiance and provocation.’

In the video, John branded the Obama administration as ‘liars’ for not withdrawing from Iraq, adding: ‘The spark has been lit here in Iraq and its heat will continue to intensify by Allah’s permission until it burns the crusader army in Dabiq.

‘And here we are, burying the first crusader in Dabiq. Eagerly awaiting for the remainder of your armies to arrive.’

Analysts said the change of video location to Dabiq – and not somewhere on the outskirts of Raqqa as before – suggested that John and hostages were being moved frequently to avoid coalition air strikes and to thwart rescue attempts.

A friend of Mr Kassig said the lack of a statement suggested he had defied his captors.

Michael Downey, a close friend from Beirut, said: ‘I think he refused. He was a man of principle and wouldn’t give into intimidation from thugs. He never took the easy route.’

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