On Thursday evening, September 5th, the LSU Reveille published an article about the intention of the LSU chapter of the Muslim Student Association’s (MSA) intention to become “more noticeable on campus” and conduct “outreach” into the community.
The MSA also seeks to alter what it says are misconceptions about Islam.
This seemingly benign announcement is something worth taking a closer look at, mainly because there are actually significant misconceptions about the Muslim Student Association in the Reveille article.
As we will show in this article, the MSA is an organization about which much is known. It is an organization with a past and it is an organization that has had some rather “interesting” leaders and members over the years. All of this means that the presence of the MSA at LSU should be of concern to students, faculty, the administration and state and local law enforcement officials.
A Short History of the Muslim Student Association in America
The first chapter of the MSA was founded way back in 1963 at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign. It was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that most Americans would not even be remotely aware of for another half century.
Among the founders of the MSA in America Hisham Al Talib, a man who would later go on to become a co-founder of the SAAR Foundation, an organization that was dissolved in 2000 when it became the target of an FBI investigation for providing funding to HAMAS, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Al Qaeda.
Another founder of the MSA was Jamal Barzinji, who, in 1991 was also the founder of the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia. Dar al-Hijrah is perhaps most famous for being the mosque at which Nidal Malik Hasan (the Fort Hood shooter) worshipped under Anwar al-Awlaki, who later became the head of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (more on Awlaki shortly).
According to a 2008 New York Times report, right from the outset the MSA received its funding and direction from Saudi Arabia. The MSA was a product of the Saudi Wahhabi-run Muslim World League, a Saudi NGO with a history of ties to Jihadist terrorism. In fact, the MSA was the first effort in America by the Saudis to establish Islamic organizations around the world to promote Wahhabi Islam, the strain of Islam that would eventually give birth to Al Qaeda.
In other words, the MSA was founded and established in the USA by what should rightly be considered a hostile foreign power, namely Saudi Arabia.
MSA solicited donations for the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, whose assets the U.S. government seized in December 2001 because that organization was giving financial support to the terrorist group Hamas. MSA also has strong ties to the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi-based Islamic organization with chapters in 57 countries, including the US chapter, which was founded by Osama Bin Laden’s nephew. WAMY promotes jihad and anti-semitism and has raised funds for HAMAS.
Not only does the MSA have a troubling history, its members and leaders have included jihadists:
• On October 22, 2000, Ahmed Shama, president of the UCLA Muslim Students Association, led a crowd of demonstrators at the Israeli consulate in chants of “Death to Israel!” and “Death to the Jews!”
• The University of Southern California MSA invited Taliban ambassador Sayyid Hashimi to speak on campus six months before 9/11.
• In 2003, University of Idaho MSA president Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, who had sought access to a chemical lab containing nuclear material, was ordered deported because he worked for the al Qaeda-tied Islamic Assembly of North America.
• In April 2003, FBI agents, who had secretly videotaped foreign student members of MSA who were illegally engaged in weapons training, raided the apartment of Hassan Alrefae and Jaber Al-Thukair, Arizona State’s MSA president and vice president, respectively.
• In June 2006, Ali Asad Chandia, who had served as president of the Montgomery College (Maryland) MSA in 1998 and 1999, was convicted on terror charges as part of a Northern Virginia jihad network; he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for three separate counts of conspiracy and material support to the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
• Abdurahman Alamoudi, who served as MSA national president in 1982 and 1983, is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for his extensive international terrorist activities, which included fundraising for al Qaeda.
• In February 2010, Aafia Siddiqui – a woman who had been captured in 2008 with explosives, deadly chemicals, and a list of New York City landmarks – was convicted of attempting to murder a U.S. Army captain while she was incarcerated and being interrogated by authorities at a prison in Afghanistan. Described variously as “al-Qaeda’s Mata Hari” and “Lady al-Qaeda,” Siddiqui had previously been radicalized by the MSA chapter at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she studied neuroscience.
• Wael Hamza Julaidan, who served as president of the University of Arizona MSA in the mid-1980s, went on to become one of al Qaeda’s co-founders and its logistics chief. In September 2002, the U.S. governmentlisted Julaidan as a specially designated global terrorist, identifying him as a close associate of Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders, and as a director of the Rabita Trust, which had already been designated a terrorist finance entity that supported al-Qaeda.
• University of Idaho MSA president Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, who operated nearly a dozen Arabic-language websites for anti-American, pro-suicide-bombing clerics, was accused by federal authorities of using his academic studies as a cover for terrorist support activities. Al-Hussayen wasdeported to Saudi Arabia in June 2004 after agreeing to a deal with federal prosecutors.
• In December 2009, Howard University dental student Ramy Zamzam, who had served as the president of MSA’s D.C. Council, was arrested in Pakistan along with four other D.C.-area men (all of whom were also active in MSA). All five were charged with plotting to join the Jaish-e-Muhammed terrorist group with plans to attack U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan; all five were convicted in a Pakistani court in June 2010 and sentenced to at least 10 years in prison.
• Syed Maaz Shah, secretary of the University of Texas-Dallas MSA chapter, was arrested in December 2006, for his involvement in paramilitary training at an Islamic campground, where he was preparing to join the Taliban in order to fight U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Shah was convicted on weapons charges in May 2007.
• Ziyad Khaleel, president of the Columbia College (Missouri) MSA, was a representative of the Islamic Association for Palestine (a Hamas front). He also registered and operated the English-language website for Hamas, and served as al Qaeda’s chief procurement agent in the United States during the 1990s. Among the items Khaleel purchased was a $7,500 satellite phone for Osama bin Laden. That phone, dubbed by intelligence authorities as the “jihad phone,” was used to plan the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings.
• Anwar Al-Awlaki served as president of the Colorado State University MSA in the early 1990s, and as chaplain of the George Washington University MSA in 2001. In Washington, DC, he delivered sermons that were attended by two of the 9/11 hijackers and by Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan. In 2002 Alwaki fled the U.S. for Yemen, where he developed ties to al Qaeda and reportedly played a role in the Fort Hood massacre of 2009, the failedChristmas Day underwear-bomber plot of 2009, and the attempted Times Square bombing of 2010.
• Carlos Bledsoe, aka Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, was a member of the MSA as a student at Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN. Bledsoe went on to receive terrorist training at a jihadist training camp in Yemen and returned to the US and murdered US Army Private Andy Long outside a Little Rock, Arkansas recruiting office on June 1, 2009.
• Abu Mansoor al-Amriki, aka Omar Hammami is an American-born member of al Shahab, a Somali Islamic militant group aligned with al Qaeda. Hammami served as president of the MSA chapter at the University of South Alabama.
• Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who would later go on to mastermind the September 11th terrorist attacks as the number 3 man in Al Qaeda, was a member of the MSA chapter at North Carolina A&T in 1986.
Given the history of the MSA right from the point of its founding, and the activities of its members and leaders in recent years in particular, there is every reason to be concerned about the MSA expanding its presence at LSU.
To confirm these concerns we interviewed an expert on Jihad, Islamic law and the Muslim Brotherhood for this article: John Guandolo.
Guandolo is a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, who took a commission as an Officer of Marines. He served with 2d Battalion 2d Marines as an Infantry Platoon Commander in combat in Operations Desert Shield/Storm. From 1991-1996, he served in 2d Force Reconnaissance Company as a Platoon Commander, Assistant Operations Officer, and the unit’s Airborne and Diving Officer. During this time he deployed to the Adriatic/Bosnia.
In 1996, Mr. Guandolo resigned his commission in the Marine Corps and joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation, serving at the Washington Field Office. From 1996-2000, he primarily conducted narcotics investigations domestically and overseas. In 2001, he served for one year as the FBI Liaison to the U.S. Capitol Police investigating threat on the President, Vice-President, Members of Congress and other high government officials. Mr. Guandolo worked for over five years on Counterterrorism matters, developing an expertise in the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Doctrine, and the global Islamic Movement. In 2006, Mr. Guandolo created and implemented the FBI’s first Counterterrorism Training/Education Course focusing on the Muslim Brotherhood, the subversive movement in the United States, and the global Islamic Movement. In his last year and a half in the FBI, he served on a Surveillance Unit.
He served on the Washington Field Office SWAT team for over nine years and as its Team Leader for three of those years. Mr. Guandolo is a Nationally Registered Paramedic and First Aid Instructor. While in the FBI, Mr. Guandolo received two (2) United States Attorney’s Awards for Investigative Excellence, and in 2007 was awarded the “Defender of the Homeland” Award by Senators John Kyl and Joseph Lieberman on behalf of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. Not surprisingly, Mr. Guandolo has some strong feelings about the Muslim Brotherhood and the MSA and the overall threat of jihad here in the US:
1. Is there reason for people in Louisiana, Baton Rouge and at LSU to be concerned about the expansion plans of the MSA?
The MSA was the first national Islamic organization founded in the United States (at the University of Illinois at Urbana) in 1963 and was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood. Historical documents, audio recordings of Muslim Brotherhood meetings, and other evidence already entered into federal terrorism cases have made that an irrefutable point.
The MB’s stated objective is to wage “civilization jihad” against America and overthrow the government.
The MSAs are points of recruitment in America for the Muslim Brotherhood and jihad.
2. Isn’t it true that MSA members have been found to be involved in acts of Jihad elsewhere in the US? (Carlos Bledsoe, KSM, the guy down in South Alabama who ended up in Somalia was president of the MSA chapter at USA…who else?)
As a matter of fact, Anwar al Awlaki – the leader of Al Qaeda in Yemen who the U.S. killed in a missile strike in 2011 was the President of the Colorado State University MSA.
3.Violent jihad aside, what are some of the aspects of the MSA and Muslim Brotherhood that we should be aware of?
The MB’s modus operandi is to pose as a friendly entity and its leaders as friendly to the community while working on the clearly stated objectives of waging “civilization jihad” against those communities. The evidence is clear and is a matter of legal record, specifically in the US v Holy Land Foundation – the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in American history.
Evidence lists MSA as a Muslim Brotherhood entity and numerous documents state the MSAs serve the MB’s objective to overthrow governments and replace them with Sharia – Islamic Law.
4. Why do you suppose the MSA chose LSU for this campaign and why now?
The MB is aggressively targeting states where any actions have been taken by officials and citizens there that they deem hostile to their plans. Louisiana has a growing knowledge base of the MB and the state has passed legislation against their efforts, including the American Laws for American Courts bill. LSU is one of the most recognizable universities in Louisiana. Leaders in Louisiana should also keep their eyes open for significant activity in the business, media, education, and law enforcement communities for MB influence. The state capitol has likely been targeted as well for “Muslim Outreach” effort to soften their approach against the “Muslim Community.”
5. Are other MSA chapters conducting outreach like this in other parts of America?
Its happening all over the country.
6. Is the timing of these activities so close to the anniversary of 9/11 coincidental?
The MB is making every effort to turn the Jihadi attack of 9/11 into a discussion of the “civil rights” of the Muslim community, which is a non-sensical argument. The U.S. leadership is bending over backwards to ensure the Muslim community in America is not “offended” which is a smokescreen for pushing their agenda forward.
7. Are other Muslim Brotherhood organizations conducting campaigns coinciding with the 9/11 anniversary?
The MB is having a “Million Muslim March” on Washington, DC this year. The Islamic Cirlce of North America (ICNA), a known MB entity, continues to push their “Shariah” and “WHY ISLAM” campaigns, even going so far as stating that Shariah isn’t even written down. Go to amazon.com and you will find dozens of authoritatively published Islamic Law texts. They don’t even mask their lies anymore.
8. When he announced his retirement, FBI Director Mueller warned of the presence of Jihadists here in the US as a major threat. You wrote the training doctrine on that for the FBI and commanded the Washington Field Office’s SWAT Team, only to see Eric Holder’s Justice Department essentially purge your work. How can Mueller issue such a parting warning, while at the same time acquiesced to Holder’s purge of vital training doctrine?
I have no idea. In open Congressional testimony recently, Mr. Mueller admitted he did not know the Islamic Society of Boston – where one of the bombers attended – was founded by Al Qaeda financier Abdurahman Alamoudi. Such stunning ignorance seems to be accepted among our senior leaders. During his tenure, he hosted and presented numerous awards to known Muslim Brotherhood leaders (eg Mohamed Magid and Yahya Hendi among others). A known Hamas leader, Sheikh Kifah Mustapa actually attended the FBI’s Citizens Academy. You can’t make this stuff up.
9. Recently it was disclosed that the NYPD counterterrorism and intelligence divisions had marked certain mosques as supporting terrorism. Did this surprise you? What implications does this have for state and local law enforcement across America?
No surprise. The Muslim Brotherhood strategic plan (An Explanatory Memorandum) specifically states its Mosques are the launching points for jihad. Therefore, we expect to find weapons and tactical training, as well as weapons and ammunition in these places. In the U.S. we have found them there. The MB documents uncovered by the FBI also state they have jihadi training camps here and overseas. If only we listened to what they tell us….
10. You recently wrote a book on Jihadist and Islamic doctrine for state and local law enforcement and you have conducted training for agencies across America. Why is it important for law enforcement at that level to understand the threat?
I wrote Raising a Jihadi Generation to detail the MB’s mission, modus operandi and infrastructure in the United States to open the eyes of local and state law enforcement agencies who are not being taught this by the FBI or DHS. Here is a good story that might shock your readers.
In June 2011, I, along with two colleagues, delivered a three-day program at the Headquarters Marine Corps auditorium (Arlington, Virginia) to approximately 115 law enforcement and national security professionals.
Represented were the major federal agencies – FBI, CIA, NSA, DIA, DHS, and others – as well as numerous law enforcement officers from the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) across the Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. areas. Additionally, several individuals from Special Operations units were in attendance as well as members of the FBI’s National Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The program was entitled “Understanding the Threat to America” and focused on: the Muslim Brotherhood’s Movement in the United States including history, doctrine, structure, modus operandi, organizations, leadership, and penetration into our system; Shariah (Islamic Law), specifically as it is used by our enemies to wage Jihad against us; and, finally, why this information is important to local and state police officers, military personnel, and federal agencies, and what can be done about this threat.
Before lunch on the third day, a gentleman stood up and, in front of over 100 of his colleagues said, “John, I have been in the FBI for over fourteen years. I am a supervisor at FBI Headquarters in the Counterterrorism Division, and I have never heard any of the information you all have put out here.” He went on and explained how angry he was and used some very colorful language to relate that anger to us that day. He did say, however, we had demonstrated the information we presented was true without question, because we used facts and evidence. I looked around the crowd and said, “Raise your hand if you knew this information before you came in here on Day 1?” Can you guess how many hands went up? One would hope that with the FBI’s National Joint Terrorism Task Force personnel, CIA, DHS, JTTF representatives, and others in the room, many hands would shoot up. So how many hands went up? ZERO.
Today, the leaders of the FBI, DHS, and the military leadership have shut down fact-based training on the threat from the Jihadists, and in some cases have the MB training their people. The result should not be surprising. Very few of the people who should understand the threat actually do because the leadership has shut down all discussion of this enemy. It is sickening, unprofessional, and dangerous. Some have argued it is treasonous.
11. With the reports of a possible conflict with Syria in the news, the possible threat of retaliation via Hezbollah has surfaced. Is Hezbollah a threat here inside America? Are federal authorities prepared for that new-old threat? What about state and local law enforcement?
Our officials are not up to speed on the MB/Jihadist threat in this country no matter what form it comes in.
Yes, there are numerous Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah units in the U.S.
What is critical for people to understand is that the Muslim Brotherhood is the support structure for jihadists. Through their thousands of front organizations, schools, non-profit organizations, and businesses, they are doing exactly what they state in their plans they are going to do. This is a very different threat and our intelligence and law enforcement agencies are not being educated and trained for this threat – 12 years after 9/11.
Local and state law enforcement is our best hope. These are dedicated men and women who know their communities better than anyone and can have the biggest impact. When local law enforcement, the elected officials at the local level, and citizens educate themselves on this threat, they will be able to identify the MB leaders in their community and take appropriate action. That is how we will win this war. Locally, not at the federal level.