Radical Islamists’ global threat must be tackled

Radical Islamists’ global threat must be tackled

Radical Islamists’ global threat must be tackled
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Thousands of people were on Saturday glued to their screens watching a horrifying terrorist attack unfold before their eyes. The incident took place at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, when an Islamist extremist interrupted a livestream broadcast of a morning service performed by Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker. The nerve-wracking near-11-hour hostage situation reminded the world that radical Islamism continues to pose a significant global threat and that it needs to be confronted wherever it is found.
Malik Faisal Akram, a 44-year old British national of Pakistani origin, had flown from the UK to the US shortly before the attack with one thing on his mind: To free his “sister in Islam” Aafia Siddiqui — also known as Lady Al-Qaeda — who is serving an 86-year sentence in a US federal prison following her conviction for shooting at US troops in 2010. She was one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists prior to her arrest in Afghanistan in 2008. Siddiqui is married to the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Sept. 11 conspirator and murderer of US journalist Daniel Pearl.
Akram told his four hostages that he chose the synagogue because it was the closest one to where Siddiqui is being held. He threatened to kill them if she was not brought to him. “Once I have my sister here, let me tell you, I will not take these four guys out,” he said to the FBI negotiator over the phone.
Back in the English city of Blackburn, Akram attended Masjid-e-Irfan, a mosque linked to the Deobandis, which is a South Asian Islamist movement with a long history of ties to violence and extremism in both South Asia and the West, according to Sam Westrop, director of the counterextremism project at the Middle East Forum. He added that Akram was reportedly a member of Tablighi Jamaat, a Deobandi missionary organization. Siddiqui also came from a Deobandi family and worked with several Deobandi terrorist organizations.
In a phone conversation, Westrop reiterated the grave danger of this group. “For years, British authorities and journalists have been warning about the radicalism of Deobandi networks, with counter-extremism analysts noting that the movement controls over 40 percent of British mosques,” he said.

The Afghanistan debacle and the weak foreign policy strategies of the Biden administration are playing a role in the rise of radical Islamist activities.

Dalia Al-Aqidi

The Afghanistan debacle and the weak foreign policy strategies of the Biden administration are playing a role in the rise of radical Islamist activities. The whole world saw how US President Joe Biden effectively handed Afghanistan over to an extremist group. In fact, several Taliban leaders, including its late founder Mullah Mohammed Omar, are believed to have graduated from a Deobandi seminary. It is highly likely that the anti-Semitic hostage-taker himself thought that, if he blackmailed the American government, it would release his fellow extremist right away.
Are the Deobandis planning to move to the US? Probably not. The Muslim Brotherhood has claimed America as its own turf; therefore, it would not allow any other Islamist groups to claim victory in North America and ruin its radical political ambitions.
US Islamist groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, recently launched a national campaign to oppose the US justice system and free Siddiqui. It described her as a “political prisoner” who was unfairly convicted. In 2014, Daesh also demanded the release of Siddiqui in exchange for American journalist James Foley, who was later beheaded by the terrorist group. This demand shows precisely how important this woman is to these terrorists.
How many wake-up calls does the US need to take strict measures against the radical Islamists, instead of allowing their ideology to flourish inside its borders?
The Biden administration should designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group and act accordingly. The US president should also instruct the Department of Justice to open an investigation into CAIR’s activities and its ties to the radical Brotherhood.
America should also protect its close allies by returning the Houthi group to its State Department’s list of designated foreign terrorist organizations. And, finally, Washington should not bend to Iran and continue allowing its drones to target Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and US bases in Iraq and Syria.
The radical Islamist ideology is not going anywhere unless the US intelligence agencies and their counterparts worldwide develop a new strategy and fully cooperate with each other to track down the terrorists, their sources of funding and their supporters.

  • Dalia Al-Aqidi is a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy. Twitter: @DaliaAlAqidi
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