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Terrorism in Florida: A Timeline From 2003 to 2016

We provide context for Sunday’s horrific massacre in Orlando by tracing a timeline of terrorism in Florida back more than ten years.

2003: Federal prosecutors indict University of South Florida professor Sami al-Arian as a leader of the Islamist terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He eventually accepts a plea bargain and is deported to Turkey.

2009: CAIR Florida Director Hassan Shibly calls homosexuality “evil” and a “quick way to earn God’s wrath.”

2013: Cleric Sheikh Sekaleshfar gives a televised sermon at the Husseini Islamic Center Mosque of Sanford, FL. He says about homosexuality: “Death is the sentence. We know there’s nothing to be embarrassed about this, death is the sentence…We have to have that compassion for people, with homosexuals, it’s the same, out of compassion, let’s get rid of them now.”

February 2015: Vandals set fire to a Church in Melbourne, Florida, spray paint “Allahu Ackbar” and a swastika.

May 2015: Boca West Country Club cancels a Palm Beach Republican Party dinner because controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who is an outspoken opponent of Islam, had been invited to speak. They cited “safety concerns.”

September 2015: Police arrest 20-year old Joshua Goldberg in Jacksonville for a plot to bomb a 9/11 memorial. According to court documents Goldberg claimed to be in Australia and supporting ISIS, despite living in his mother’s basement in Florida.

April 2016: A 14-foot high billboard reading “Islam Bloody Islam, Doomed by its Doctrine!” is unveiled prompting criticism for blatant anti-Muslim bigotry and an international petition to take the sign down.

May 2016: A 40-year old Muslim man is arrested for an alleged plot to bomb a Florida synagogue on the Passover holiday. The court alleged he wanted to leave a note attributing the attack to ISIS.

Sunday June 12, 2016, 2 am: An Islamic State terrorist murders 49 people at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando Florida.

Sunday June 12, 2016: CAIR-Florida Director Hassan Shibly offers “Overwhelming love and support and unity” to the LGBT community in the wake of the Orlando Shooting.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Orlando Terrorist Worked at Company Hired by DHS to Transport Illegal Aliens

ISIS Fighter Slaughters Parents for Refusing to Hand Over Brothers

Berlin Imam Gets 2.5 Years for Glorifying ISIS

New ISIS Video: DC, New York, Orlando to Face More Attacks

Hit ISIS So Hard They Wonder Why Allah Left Them

EDITORS NOTE: Eleven of the nineteen hijackers on 9/11/2001 lived in Florida. Florida is mention over 50 times in the 9/11 Commission Report. Terrorist and terrorism is part of the Sunshine State.

California Dreaming: Two Muslims try to join the Islamic State

“According to the document, on the last Friday of April, after prayer services at a mosque in Orange County, Elhuzayel and Badawi spoke enthusiastically about Islamic State….She had described her son as ‘Muslim, but not very religious, just normal.’ Over the last year, he had become more observant, frequently attending Friday prayer services at a mosque in Anaheim.”

Are these mosques being investigated? Is what they teach being closely monitored by people who know what they’re looking for, and aren’t in thrall to the “Islam is a religion of peace” propaganda? Or would that be “Islamophobic”?

“O.C. men accused of trying to join Islamic State are charged with financial crimes,” by Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, October 7, 2015 (thanks to Darcy):

Two Orange County men accused of conspiring to aid Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria are now facing additional charges involving bank fraud and financial aid crime.

A new indictment revealed Wednesday accuses Anaheim residents Nader Elhuzayel, 25, and Muhanad Badawi, 24, of a series of financial crimes. Elhuzayel is accused of 25 counts of bank fraud, and Badawi is charged with federal financial aid fraud.

In April and May, Elhuzayel got cash through a scheme to defraud three different banks, according to the indictment, which says he deposited stolen checks into his personal checking accounts and then withdrew cash at Orange County branch offices and ATMs.

Badawi is charged with using his federal financial aid to buy a plane ticket to Turkey for Elhuzayel.

The indictment also includes preexisting charges of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, Islamic State. Both men have pleaded not guilty to the original charges.

Federal authorities said the men drew the attention of counter-terrorism agents with inflammatory comments on social media, prompting an investigation that led to their arrests last month. They are due back in court July 6 and are scheduled to go to trial July 28. Details of a call between the two men before their capture were contained in an FBI agent’s affidavit.

According to the document, on the last Friday of April, after prayer services at a mosque in Orange County, Elhuzayel and Badawi spoke enthusiastically about Islamic State. It says one proclaimed a wish to join the group and die a martyr on a battlefield.

Although Yemen was attractive for its natural beauty, the men agreed they would prefer to fight in Syria, the document said. It said they talked about drinking wine together in the paradise that awaited them after they were killed. Federal agents said they overheard the conversation….

Elhuzayel and Badawi are accused of setting in motion a plan for Elhuzayel to travel to the Middle East and fight for Islamic State. Agents from a counter-terrorism task force intercepted Elhuzayel at Los Angeles International Airport before he boarded a plane bound for Turkey last month. Badawi was taken into custody at an Anaheim gas station, an FBI spokeswoman said….

Elhuzayel’s mother, Falak, has previously called the allegations against her son “impossible.” Speaking on the phone before her son’s initial court appearance, Falak Elhuzayel described her son as “a very good kid — not the kind of person who would fit into this kind of category.”

She said she and her husband dropped their son off at LAX the day of his arrest and confirmed he was preparing to board a flight to Istanbul and continue on to Israel. The family, she said, is Palestinian and her son was traveling to visit relatives in the West Bank.

That evening, federal agents raided the room at the Crystal Inn motel in Anaheim where Nader Elhuzayel had lived with his parents since the family declared bankruptcy and lost their house two years ago.

Falak Elhuzayel said a team of agents upended the room in the search for evidence and asked her why her son had purchased a one-way ticket. She said she told them that he had decided to buy a return ticket later because he did not know how long he would stay in the West Bank.

She had described her son as “Muslim, but not very religious, just normal.” Over the last year, he had become more observant, frequently attending Friday prayer services at a mosque in Anaheim, she said. But she insisted it was impossible that he’d slipped into extremism. He was, she said, “a simple, gullible, nice kid.”

If convicted, Nader Elhuzayel faces up to 30 years imprisonment on each bank fraud count and Badawi faces up to five years imprisonment on the financial aid fraud count. Each man also faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of providing material support to Islamic State.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Islamic State threatens to murder 180 Christians unless it gets $12 million ransom

Islamic State captures most territory in months, nears Aleppo

Boston Jewish Leadership caught in Deception over Newton Schools Disputed Texts

Questions on the integrity of Boston Jewish communal groups, the regional office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) and its affiliate, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) were raised in a Boston Jewish newspaper report released this week.  The investigation was prompted by a raging dispute with Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) over the Newton, Massachusetts School Board use of controversial anti-Israel and Muslim proselytizing high school texts.

The Boston Jewish Advocate (The Advocate), the weekly Jewish community newspaper of record, has published an investigation of this latest development in an 18 month battle brought to the community’s attention by Dr. Charles Jacobs and his team at Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), “ADL, CJP Newton reaction raises questions of integrity”.  We posted on The Iconoclast about this simmering dispute in late October 2013, when Jacobs and APT took out ads in several local and regional newspapers.  These were about the troubling world history course texts used by the Newton School Board in 9th and 10th grades; “The Arab World Studies Notebook” and “A Muslim Primer”.

The Advocate’s expose was triggered by a November 15, 2013 letter signed by the heads of the regional ADL, the CJP and its affiliate, the JCRC, published in the newspaper, alleging that they had conducted their own investigation on the troubling Newton school board texts. This letter was prompted by another ad by the APT pointing out the lack of attention by the local Jewish defense and Federation groups to anti-Israel maps from the controversial texts similar to those that ran on bus kiosks and in subways of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).  The Advocate expose noted:

Controversy continues to swirl over a statement released by the ADL, CJP and JCRC claiming that charges by APT President Charles Jacobs of anti-Israel material in the Newton Public Schools were groundless.

Following that statement and ambiguity over whether a referenced ADL report even existed, the JCRC stated that it has also conducted an inquiry into alleged anti-Israel materials taught in 9th- and 10th-grade history classes in the Newton Public Schools that is separate from that of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
However, the JCRC – like the ADL before it – declined to share the details of their review with the public, prompting some in the community – including an instructor at Brandeis University in Waltham – to raise the question of transparency in local Jewish organizations.

We have reported in New English Review articles, interviews and Iconoclast posts on the local Boston regional and national investigations by the APT. In particular we have drawn attention to the nearly decade long battle to uncover the support and indoctrination in terrorism by the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC) controlled by an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood,  the Muslim American Society..  The ISBCC figured prominently in the incitement of the Boston Marathon jihad bombers, the refugee Tsarneav brothers.   APT also produced a documentary on anti-Semitism in the Northeastern University faculty and its former Muslim Chaplain associated with the ISBCC.   The APT also produced the nationally acclaimed film, Losing our Sons about the first home grown Islamic terrorist action after 9/11 by Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, aka, Carlos Bledsoe. He was trained by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He attacked a Little Rock, Arkansas Army Recruitment center on June 1, 2009.  Mohammed-Bledsoe, originally from Memphis, Tennessee, engaged in a jihad action that took the life of the late Army Pvt. Andy Long, seriously injuring a fellow recruiter, Army Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula.

The deception, disputed  by the ADL, CJP and JCRC in this latest development, was uncovered through investigations by Middle East watchdog group CAMERA’s  Joshua Katzen, a Brandeis University adjunct faculty member, and Russell Pergament, publisher of the Jewish News Services (JNS).

The Advocate cited ADL and JCRC’s lack of transparency:

Neither ADL nor JCRC has agreed to release its findings in order to support their joint statement in a Letter to the Editor in the Nov. 15 issue of The Advocate, where the organizations’ leaders wrote that they have done a “careful review of the materials at issue,” concluding, “We trust that this is reassuring to members of our community.”

[ADL New England Regional Director] Robert Trestan said a report of their investigation does not exist, ADL’s New England Regional Board Chair, Jeffrey Robbins,
said there is indeed such a written analysis but it is not available to the media.“It’s an internal report,” he said. “People do this stuff internally all the time. … It involves all kinds of proprietary research.”

JCRC Executive Director Jeremy Burton said … JCRC has not completed a “written report or briefing memo” of its analysis.

Katzen replied:

The failure of both organizations to release the reports that they claim to have undertaken, by nameless non-experts, indicates that no such reports were ever prepared.

While CAMERA has an expert on the subject, [Senior Research Analyst] Steve Stotsky, who made serious and professional findings, there doesn’t appear to be anyone at either ADL or JCRC with the credentials to analyze the curricula. Why on earth would they be refusing to release the reports?  Only two explanations: Either the reports are slipshod and amateur, or [they] don’t exist.

Barry Shrage, President of the CJP responded:

Implicitly acknowledging that there were in fact such materials in the Newton schools, Shrage said, “In my view the question of existence [of materials listed on APT’s advertisement] is not the issue, but rather how these materials were used.”

When asked about how the situation reflects on transparency of the Jewish community organizations, Shrage turned the attention on Jacobs’ group, saying, “What about APT? Where is their transparency?” He went on to say that APT still has not answered questions to ADL and JCRC’s inquiries.

In response to the question about his organization’s transparency, Jacobs said in an e-mail, “Our ads and our many op-eds have disclosed the basis of our concerns.”

Russell Pergament publisher of the JNS who conducted his own investigation said:

I really doubted any report existed. I pushed hard on the phone with Schrage…. I wanted facts. What is really alarming here is to see Boston’s most powerful and
well funded Jewish communal organizations train their firepower on one courageous man, Charles Jacobs, who has time and again come to the aid of Jewish high school and college students facing harassment.  These groups often did nothing and, worse yet, even tried to undercut him. That they jointly, almost conspiratorially, joined forces to try and take him down is worse than disgraceful. You have to question their fitness to retain these positions of trust.

An anonymous prominent Boston Jewish community leader observed:

Instead of releasing any report or detailed findings on which their statement is based, these organizations are asking us to blindly trust them and their general conclusion on faith. And yet, how can we do that when they are saying two inconsistent and contradictory things, at least one of which is therefore a lie? This is no longer just a story about the Newton schools, but about accountability and how our communal organizations and leadership operates.

Jacobs of the APT commented:

It seems to me that ADL has done a disservice to the Jewish community and Jewish leadership in Boston, by claiming to have done a thorough, quality investigation – which they refuse to disclose …

We do not believe ADL has any credible basis for its continuing claim that there is nothing for Boston’s Jewish community to worry about. This is very unfortunate for a community that desperately needs strong leadership at a time when Israel and its supporters are under attack in universities, in K-12, and in the media.

Once again, Jacobs and the APT team as well as independent investigators have caught the Boston Jewish community leaders in a web of deception abetting anti-Israelism in both the local schools and in the public debate.  This does not come as a surprise to us, nor is it an isolated case.  For example, we can point to our investigations of the controversial Olive Tree Initiative at UCAL Irvine funded by an affiliate of the local Orange County, California Jewish Federation.

How can we trust the Boston Jewish leaders to defend both Israel and the Jewish people?

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.