15 Muslims Who Left the United States to Join ISIS

Source: NBC NewsThe Americans: 15 Who Left the United States to Join ISIS

American law enforcement officials estimate that roughly 250 Americans have tried to join IS. Most of them never left the United States, raising fears of more homegrown attacks like the one in December in San Bernardino, California. Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, the Justice Department’s top national security officer, told NBC News that his agency has open investigations in all 50 states.

But a few dozen of those American recruits have made the trip to ISIS’s heartland in Syria and Iraq.

In March, NBC News was given a thumb drive by a man claiming to be an ISIS defector. The drive contained the names and snippets of biographical information of more than 4,000 ISIS foreign fighters who entered Syria in 2013 and 2014. The documents, effectively ISIS personnel files, have been verified by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center and other counterterrorism specialists.

Through the documents, NBC News has identified at least 15 American citizens or residents who have joined ISIS overseas. They fit no particular pattern. Some are from poor Muslim immigrant families. Others had what can be described as privileged backgrounds. Three have Somali backgrounds. One was a Latino convert to Islam. They lived in small towns and cities in New York, Texas, California and places in between.

[No particular pattern…except they are ALL MUSLIM]

Rasel Raihan

Rasel Raihan NBC News

Raihan enlisted with ISIS in July 2014 after traveling to Syria with his his older sister, Zakia Nasrin, and her husband, Jaffrey Khan. Raihan’s family is from Bangladesh; they moved to Ohio, in 2000, when he was about 5. He played fantasy computer games with friends, and earned excellent grades, and looked up to Nasrin, an academic over-achiever. But in 2013, between his junior and senior year in high school, Raihan fell into a deep depression, his friends told NBC News. He saw a psychiatrist but sought help from his sister, who’d become a devout Muslim. Raihan told friends he embraced Islam, too, and proclaimed himself cured.

When he turned 18, Raihan moved in with Nasrin and Khan, and together they moved from Ohio in May 2014. Two months later, according to the ISIS documents, he entered Syria at Tel Abyad with Khan. Raihan, who took the battle name Abu Abduallah al-Amriki, was killed in Syria, according to family and a senior U.S. intelligence source.

Zakia Nasrin

Zakia Nasrin NBC News

Nasrin doesn’t appear in the ISIS documents, but NBC News pieced together how she joined her younger brother, Rasel Raihan, and her husband, Jaffrey Khan, in Syria. Nasrin dreamed of becoming a doctor and graduated high school with a 4.0 average. Then she dropped out of sight, friends told NBC News.

It turned out that she’d moved to California to marry Khan, whom she’d met online, according to relatives. She became a devout Muslim, covering her face and staying away from other men, relatives said. The couple returned to Ohio, and she continued on to Ohio State. Then, in May 2014, she and her husband, along with her younger brother, left. In July, the two men entered Syria, according to the ISIS documents. Nasrin ended up working with Khan at a hospital in ISIS-controlled Raqqa, Khan’s father told NBC News. Now 24, she is the mother of a 10-month-old girl, relatives said.

Jaffrey Khan

Jaffrey Khan NBC News

Khan grew up in Northern California, a son of divorced Pakistani immigrants. From an early age, he struggled emotionally, attending several schools and often getting into trouble. A school acquaintance described Khan as “slightly disturbed.” He showed no interest in religion until making a sudden conversion, then became devout, a cousin said. He grew his beard and began researching conflicts in the Muslim world, growing “hateful” of America, the cousin said. And, according to relatives, he went online to find a wife and met Zakia Nasrin.

An acquaintance, fearing Khan was getting involved with jihadists, contacted the FBI, but what came of that tip is unclear. The couple also traveled to Kenya, prompting interest from the FBI, Nasrin’s younger brother, Rasel Raihan, would later tell a friend.

Months after Raihan moved in with the couple in Ohio, the three of them left the U.S. for Syria. The last their families heard, Khan, 24, and his wife were working in a hospital in ISIS-held Raqqa and had an infant daughter.

Alberto Renteria

Alberto Renteira is from Gilroy, California.

Renteria, who is of Mexican descent, grew up in Gilroy, California, where he attended two local high schools before getting a computer job in San Jose, his family told NBC News.

He was raised Catholic, but at some point, he stopped going to church and adopted Islam, relatives told NBC News. He began wearing robes on Fridays and attending services at the South Valley Islamic Center. The imam there said he was “very quiet” and never socialized. Then, two or three years ago, he stopped showing up. Continue reading

Muslim youth who survived 2007 Minneapolis bridge now in Syria fighting with ISIS

Source: Minneapolis bridge collapse survivor accused of joining ISIS in Syria | Fox News

Mohamed Roble was weeks shy of his 11th birthday when the school bus he was on plummeted more than 30 feet as the bridge beneath gave way.

Now, according to court testimony in a federal terrorism trial, Roble — one of the 145 people injured in the Minneapolis bridge collapse that killed 13 people — is believed to be in Syria with the Islamic State group.

Roble and four of his siblings were on the bus that was carrying 52 students and several adults when the Interstate 35W span collapsed on Aug. 1, 2007, sending shockwaves nationwide about the safety of the country’s infrastructure. All of the occupants of their bus survived.

His injuries included headaches, arm, neck and back pain, nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder, records show. One letter from a therapist said Roble “seems the most traumatized of all the siblings” and “he worked on his spiritual belief that `God had saved him for a purpose.”‘

For his injuries, a 2009 state court order says, Roble was due to receive a lump sum payment of $65,431.22 on his 18th birthday — roughly a month and a half before federal prosecutors say he left the U.S. for Istanbul, Turkey.

Roble’s name surfaced in federal court last week during the trial of three Minnesota men accused of conspiring to travel to Syria to join the IS group. Testimony has suggested that at least some of the men in the group knew Roble had money and asked him to fund their own trips. One man believed Roble had gone to Syria with thousands of dollars and used it to pay for weddings for fighters and cars.

The bridge collapse was not mentioned during the trial. The Associated Press made the connection using state court records to trace the bridge collapse victim to a Minneapolis high school, then matched the victim’s yearbook picture to a photo the government has provided of the young man believed to be in Syria. A handful of people who knew the family also confirmed the match.

British citizen who plotted Heathrow Airport attack jailed…in US

Was the U.K. unable or unwilling to charge and try someone who plotted to blow up their airport? Source: UK citizen Minh Quang Pham jailed for Heathrow suicide plot – BBC News

A British citizen who US prosecutors said plotted to carry out a suicide bomb attack at Heathrow Airport has been jailed for 40 years in the US.

Minh Quang Pham, 33, was sentenced in New York for supporting the terror group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in 2011.

In January, Pham admitted three counts of terrorist-related activity based on his support for the group.

He denied he intended to carry out his plot and no attack ever occurred.

Pham, a former Vietnamese national who had lived in London, was first arrested in the UK in June 2012 and was extradited to the US in February 2015.

Scotland Yard said its counter-terrorism command provided key evidence that helped shape the case against Pham, also known as Amin, which led to his prosecution.

He pleaded guilty to one count of providing material support to AQAP, one count of conspiring to receive military training from AQAP and one count of possessing and using a machine gun in furtherance of crimes of violence.

District Judge Alison Nathan said Pham deserved an “exceptionally severe sentence” after he became a trusted asset for the terror group.

Pham had worked as a graphic artist on the group’s magazine, Inspire, that was said to be used by the Boston marathon bombers to learn how to make bombs.

During the hearing Pham said he had made a “terrible mistake” that he regretted and sent a letter to the judge to say he renounced all acts of terrorism and extremist ideology.

More via British al-Qaeda member ‘agreed to bomb Heathrow

A British member of al-Qaeda has claimed he only agreed to carry out a suicide bombing at Heathrow as a way of escaping from a terror training camp in Yemen where he was suffering from scabies.

Minh Quang Pham, a British citizen born in Vietnam, spent six months in Yemen in 2011 training with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), one of the deadliest branches of the terror network.

He returned to Britain in July 2011 after allegedly being tasked by Anwar al-Awlaki to build a bomb and and ultimately blow himself up in the arrivals section of Heathrow airport.

The 33-year-old was arrested by British police and extradited to New York where he pleaded guilty in January to three terrorism charges.

While in Yemen, Pham worked on Inspire, the al-Qaeda magazine which includes recipes for making explosives and was read by the Boston Bombers before their 2013 attack.

Al-Awlaki gave Pham £6,000 to carry out the attack and personally instructed him on how to make a bomb from household chemicals, according to the FBI.

But the money was seized from him when he landed at Heathrow in July 2011 and it does not appear that Pham made any effort to actually make the bomb.

He was arrested nearly a year later at the request of the US and eventually extradited to New York in February 2015.

He was charged with five counts including providing material support to a terror group, receiving terrorist training, and possession of a machine gun as part of a violent crime.  None of the charges directly relate to a plot to bomb Heathrow.

Why was this Muslim brought to the U.S. where American taxpayers will have to support him for forty years? Yet illegal immigrants who have actually killed multiple times are roaming the U.S. freely? If he survives and/or is released early, where will he go?

Texas: Muslim Claiming to be ISIS Assaults Cop, AK47, Shotgun Found in Car

Source: Suspect Makes Terrorist Group Claims During Assault On Police « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

A man is in jail, charged with assaulting and harassing an officer with the Arlington Police Department.

Investigators tell CBS 11 News, something that suspect said during the incident also prompted police to notify the FBI.

Wahib Sadek now faces charges of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, and assaulting a public servant.

It was around 3 p.m. Tuesday when police say an Arlington School Resource Officer was driving to the station when two people flagged him down. The residents told the officer about a possible aggravated assault by a man who was believed to be armed.

The officer found Sadek’s vehicle, and made a traffic stop near Green Oaks and Waterview Drive.  It was then police say Sadek got out of his car and began walking toward the officer, in what was perceived as an aggressive manner.

Since the officer didn’t see Sadek brandishing any type of weapon he holstered his gun and took out a taser. Even though Sadek was ordered to get on the ground, in moments caught on cell phone video, the 22-year-old would not stop walking toward the officer. The officer used the taser on Sadek after the two got into a physical fight. But, with the help of two private citizens, the suspect was eventually taken into custody.

Police say they found several firearms inside Sadek’s car. Investigators also learned later that Sadek allegedly threatened another woman with a knife before the incident in Arlington.

Police say Sadek’s charges include Harrassment of a Public Servant because he spit on one of the Arlington police officers who responded to the scene.

Agents with the FBI were contacted because police say during the arrest Sadek claimed to be affiliated with the ISIS terrorist group.  Federal officials are looking into those claims, but say at this point they have not been validated.

Officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are also investigating.

More: via Good Samaritans Help Police Subdue Man Being Investigated By Feds

Inside Sadek’s car, officers found the knife and three guns, including an AK-47, and a loaded 45-caliber pistol.

“If there was a weapon in his hand when he came out of the vehicle, there would have been a shoot-out,” said Morrison

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is tracing those guns.


Obama to release 2 dozen of ‘worst of worst’ Gitmo jihadis by end of July

Obama to transfer of 22 or 23 detainees out of Guantanamo Bay sometime before the end of July.

More from The Guardian: Two dozen Guantánamo detainees poised for release under Obama deals

…some of the transfer approvals have yet to receive certification by Ashton Carter, the defense secretary, as required by law, ahead of a notification to Congress.

According to US officials, the administration has deals in place to send approximately two dozen longtime Guantánamo detainees to about half a dozen countries.

While it is unclear if the transfers will occur in one wave, as with the April transfer of nine detainees to Saudi Arabia, there is an expectation that the departure of 22 or 23 men will occur by the end of July. There are currently 80 men detained at Guantánamo, the lowest number since the US opened the wartime prison in 2002.

Congressman: ‘Unconscionable’ Obama’s Syrian Refugee Surge Included No Christians

As we tweeted earlier in the week, Obama has essentially banned Christian refugees from entering the United States.


Source: Rep. Smith: ‘Unconscionable’ Record 499 Syrian Refugees Included No Christians

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said Thursday that it was “unconscionable” that of the record 499 Syrian refugees admitted to the United States in the first three weeks of May, not one was a Christian.

Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson cited that number, reported by CNSNews.com on Monday, in his testimony on the urgent needs facing Christian refugees from Iraq and Syria.

Smith was speaking at a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on what steps should be taken following Secretary of State Kerry’s March declaration that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) was committing genocide in Iraq and Syria against Christians and other religious minorities.

“They can’t even get into a UNHCR [U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees] or IDP [internally displaced persons] camp or a refugee camp, are unwanted, at risk,” Smith said of the Christians in Iraq and Syria.

“And as you [Anderson] pointed out a news report showed or indicated that of the 499 Syrian refugees admitted to the United States in May, not one – and I repeat and say again – not one was listed as being Christian or as explicitly coming from any of the groups targeted for genocide.”

“For me that has got to change,” Smith continued. “I mean that is unconscionable, it’s not like we haven’t been raising this for, in my case three years, in the cases of so many others, three years. And we’ve had hearing after hearing.”

“We’ve got the designation. Why aren’t Christians being focused upon?” Smith asked.

“Those who face genocide are a tiny fraction of the population,” Anderson said in his testimony. “They often must avoid official refugee camps because they are targeted for violence there by extremists. As a result, these minorities often do not get ‘official’ aid. This will continue to be the reality unless specific action is taken to bring the aid to where these minorities are forced to reside by continuing violence.”

“After World War II, there were approximately 50 million refugees, and only a small fraction were Jews. Yet the world understood that Jews, who had survived genocide, faced a qualitatively different situation, and deserved heightened consideration,” he continued.

Anderson said that Christian and Yezidi religious minorities, “as survivors of an ongoing genocide,” must “be prioritized in American policy decisions.”

Since the beginning of FY2016, 2,705 Syrian refugees have been resettled in the United States, as of Thursday, according to State Department Refugee Processing Center data.

Of them, 12 (0.44 percent) are Christians: five Catholics, two Orthodox, one Greek Orthodox and four refugees identified simply as “Christian.”

Another 10 of the 2,705 (0.36 percent) are Yazidis.

Johnny Oram, executive director of the Chaldean Assyrian Business Alliance, echoed Anderson’s concerns, saying that “as far as refugee admission to the United States the Christians have really been left out.”

“I’m not here to have a debate about religion and about Islam and Christianity but it seems 99 percent of the refugees that have been admitted to the United States are Muslim,” he said.

Anderson recommended that the United States appropriate funding and work with the UNHCR to “make provisions for locating and providing status to individuals – such as Yezidis and Christians – that have been targeted for genocide.”

“Many of these genocide survivors fear going into official U.N. refugee camps, where they are targeted,” he said.

He also urged Congress to pass legislation introduced by Sen Tom Cotton’s (R-Ark.), the Religious Persecution Relief Act, which he said would “provide for overlooked minorities in the prioritization of refugees.”

Cotton’s bill would enable Syrian minorities to bypass the U.N. and apply directly to the U.S. resettlement program. It also set aside 10,000 refugee resettlement places annually, for five years, for Syrian religious minorities.

Does the First Amendment Protect the Religious Duty of Jihad?

Source: The Tennessee Council 4 Political Justice

The First Amendment protects our freedom of religion and speech. Does our Constitution also protect preaching the duty of jihad to Muslims?

The certified English translation of codified Islamic sharia law is “Reliance of the Traveller, the Classic Manual of Sacred Islamic Law.” The compilation was authenticated by both the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) and Al Ahzar University in Cairo, the preeminent teaching center of sharia law.

Islamic sharia law says that both the greater and lesser jihad are mandatory for believers. Islamists call violent jihad the “lesser jihad” and the spiritual struggle the “greater jihad.” But according to the Reliance of the Traveller, Section o9.0 the discussion of “jihad” begins this way:

Jihad means to war against non-Muslims and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion…”

“Details concerning jihad are found in the accounts of the military expeditions of the Prophet…,including his own martial forays and those on which he dispatched others. o9.0

Sharia law imposes a communal obligation regarding this “lesser jihad” recounting that “[i]n the time of the Prophet jihad was a communal obligation after his emigration (hijra) to Medina.” (o9.1). Is the law’s emphasis on the violent jihad because it was Mohammed’s violent Medinian jihad (the offensive jihad), that helped spread Islam? Is it because every Muslim has a religious duty to convert “non-believers” either by persuasion or force?

If Mohammed is the perfect Muslim that all Muslims are to emulate and an imam in a mosque preaches jihad and a worshipper then commits jihad, is the imam’s speech protected religious speech or speech that incites violence which may not be protected by our constitution? For example:

former Islamic Center of Tennessee Imam Abdullah al Ansari directed his listeners (at 5:12), that “He [Allah] told us to fight the Jews and Christians. Fight them until they give jizya.  They give this protective tax from their hands and they are humiliated and subdued. If Islam, true Islam and true Muslims do not rule there will never be justice.” (almost word for word Koran 9:29; Reliance o9.8 – Objectives of Jihad p.602

Boston Imam Abdullah Faarooq exhorted the listening worshippers that “[y]ou must grab on to this rope, grab on to the typewriter, grab on to the shovel, grab on to the gun and the sword, dont be afraid to step out into this world and do your job.”

In 2009, the FBI estimated that “Imams preach jihad and extremism in 10 percent of the 2,000 mosques in the United States.” A 2011 random survey of 100 mosques by the Terrorism Research Initiative, found that 80% of the mosques preached jihad either through sermons and/or materials.

The California based Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) issues fatwas,(authoritative religious rulings that guide Muslims living in the West) on issues such as condoning death for apostates, marital rape and female genital mutilation.  AMJA also hosts an annual Imams training conference.

Regarding the instigation of offensive jihad in America, an AMJA fatwa translated from Arabic states that the Islamic community does not possess the strength to engage in offensive jihad at this time. With our current capabilities, we are aspiring towards defensive jihad, and to improve our position with regards to jurisprudence at this stage. But there is a different discussion for each situation. Allah Almighty knows best.

Memphis Imam Yasir Qadhi is a frequent speaker at the AMJA imams training conference. Shaykh Waleed Basyouni, the vice-president of Qadhi’s AlMaghrib Institute, is also on the AMJA fatwa committee.

In Incitement in the Mosques: Testing the Limits of Free Speech and Religious Liberty, University of Baltimore Law professor Kenneth Lasson explains that according to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brandenberg case on free speech, “…the government could limit speech that is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action that is likely to incite or produce such action.”

He notes that the First Amendment does not protect what he calls “camouflaged incitement” – “…language that can be considered coded speech, guns for hire, inducement by simulation or supplying how-to plans are all suspect.” He suggests that clerics deliver sermons with the intent to “encourage action… Religion moves followers to act on their beliefs.”

Bill Warner’s “Statistical Islam” shows that 98% of the Hadith and roughly three-quarters of the Siras references are to jihad of the sword (the “lesser jihad”).

So, against the backdrop of violent jihad like 9-11, the Boston marathon bombings, the Chattanooga murders, the Fort Hood killing spree, the murder of Pvt. Andrew Long by Abdulhakim Mohammed, is it incitement to violence when imams read from the Quran, the Sira and Hadith, and claim that Mohammed is the example for all Muslims to follow? Or press believers to follow Islamic sharia law? So, how close in time does the violent jihad have to be to be considered “imminent”? And last but not least, should these imams be protected by the First Amendment if they preach the religious duty of the “lesser” jihad?


Law professor Kenneth Lasson gives a pragmatic answer: “[t]errorism creates a kind of permanent imminence. When messages advocating murderous violence are heard by large numbers of people, the government should have the authority to stop the speakers. There is no democratic value in protecting clerics who exhort their listeners to kill Jews and Americans wherever you can find them.” [END]

More on the misconception of a lesser and greater jihad…from Islamic sources:  Jihad: The Highest Peak of Islam

Jihad an-Nafs

Some have attempted to justify their stance on this concept with what is apparently intended as a daleel (Islamic evidence), and so have used a narration to justify this concept of Jihad an-Nafs or dealing with all the political and military problems we face by becoming introspective or looking inwardly as opposed to looking at the Ahkam Shari’ah and seeing what Allah (Subhanahu Wa ta’ala) has demanded from us.

So they use what they claim is a hadith, or saying of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), “We have returned from the lesser Jihad to the greater Jihad, that is the struggle against the evil of oneself.” This is in fact a fabrication and is known as Mawdu’ (spurious). Hafidh al Iraqi and Ibn Hajar al Asqalani, who were hadith masters and muhaditheen, who memorised one hundred thousand hadith by Isnad and were qualified to scrutinise hadith and their authenticity, stated that this was not a saying of the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) but was in fact a statement that was made by someone in the later generation named Ibrahim ibn Abi Yabla. Hence, this is not considered an evidence in the Islamic Shari’ah.

To elaborate further, it is in contradiction with the subject matter of Jihad that has been elaborated in over a hundred ayat of the Qur’an that have come with the meaning of Jihad being Qitaal, which means to slay or to kill or to fight. This was how the Prophet (Sallallahu Sallallahu “>Alaihi Wasallam) and the Sahabah (ra) understood it. To give an example from the Seerah that was narrated by Ibn Majah with a source in Bukhari, woman came to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and asked “O Messenger of Allah! Is Jihad obliged upon the women?” To which he responded, “Yes, a Jihad without Qitaal (fighting), it is the Hajj and the Umrah!”

This clearly demonstrates that Jihad is Qitaal i.e. Jihad is undertaking the physical fighting and this is how it was understood by the woman and the Prophet (Sallallahu Sallallahu “>Alaihi Wasallam), as explained in the Prophet’s (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) answer i.e. Jihad in Islam means fighting.

It’s long but worth the time to see what Muslims teach each other.


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