A New York Times piece on Thursday prominently featured two imams with a long history of radicalism as profiles in courage who lead the movement to “counter violent extremism.”
In a piece titled “U.S. Muslims Take On ISIS’ Recruiting Machine,” The New York Times author Laurie Goodstein writes:
“Imam Mohamed Magid tries to stay in regular contact with the teenager who came to him a few months ago, at his family’s urging, to discuss how he was being wooed by online recruiters working for the Islamic State, the extremist group in Syria and Iraq.
But the imam, a scholar bursting with charm and authority, has struggled to compete. Though he has successfully intervened in the cases of five other young men, persuading them to abandon plans to fight overseas, the Islamic State’s recruiting efforts have become even more disturbing, he said, and nonstop.
The problem with profiling the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) imam as a counterweight to the Islamic State, quite simply, is that Magid himself has deep ties to radicalism.
In 2002, federal officials raided ADAMS in an initiative called “Operation Green Quest,” where the mosque was suspected of supporting terrorist operations. Federal documents revealed that officials believed ADAMS was “suspected of providing support to terrorists, money laundering, and tax evasion.”
Magid is also the former president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which was established by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist terror group that goes by the motto “Allah is our objective, the Koran is the constitution, the Prophet is our leader, Jihad is our way, death for the sake of Allah is our wish.” In the 2007 Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial, a federal judge found that “the [U.S.] government has produced ample evidence to establish” the association of ISNA “with Hamas,” the Palestinian terror group that rules the Gaza Strip.
Suhaib Webb, the imam of the Islamic Society of Boston, was also profiled as a trusted leader in the counter-extremism movement.
The New York Times piece reads:
“ISIS says: ‘Come here. We’ve got ripped warriors,’” said Imam Suhaib Webb, a popular Muslim leader who moved from Boston to the Washington area last month. “It’s a very simplistic response, but it’s somewhat effective.”
He said that in more than 15 years as an imam, he had encountered only five Muslims considering whether they should join violent militant groups, and that none of them had actually left the United States to fight. “They were all males,” said Imam Webb, and “they all had daddy issues.” He added, “They were not really drawn to this on theological grounds.”
Just two days before the September 11, 2001, attacks against America, Suhaib Webb infamously attended a fundraiser to solicit donations for the defense fund of a man who killed two police officers. It gets worse, though. Webb spoke at the fundraiser alongside al-Qaeda mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki. The al-Qaeda cleric would eventually meet the business-end of a U.S. Hellfire missile in 2011 while he was conducting terror operations in Yemen.
FBI documents found that Webb and Awlaki were closely associated through the Muslim American Society, which many believe to be an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States.
Webb also served as imam of the sister organization of the mosque attended by Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Before coming to Boston, Webb was the imam of the Islamic Society of Oklahoma City, which was home to Alton Nolen, the man who beheaded an innocent Oklahoma woman in September.
Twelve of Webb’s Islamic Society of Boston members “have either been killed, imprisoned, or declared fugitives due to their involvement in terrorist activity,” according to Americans for Peace and Tolerance.
“The fact that The New York Times chooses men like Magid and Webb to highlight as the best that ‘countering violent extremism’ has to offer shows how bankrupt the concept is. With their ties to Muslim Brotherhood organizations, Magid and Webb know more about radicalizing youth than they do de-radicalizing,” Kyle Shideler, director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy, told Breitbart News.