Following the jihad attack in San Bernardino, the media hurried to interview the head of one of two mosques that terrorist Syed Farooq frequently attended. In an interview with NPR, Mustafa Kuko of the Islamic Center of Riverside (ICR), described Farooq as being a very devout practitioner, who was in the mosque seven days a week, including doing early morning prayers there. The NPR’s reporter did not ask how it was that if Farooq was extremely devoted to attending the mosque; he reached the conclusion that launching violent jihad, possibly on behalf of Islamic State.
But there are some clues.
The University of California-Riverside (UCR) Muslim Student’s Association (MSA) describes ICR as being “closely affiliated”. UCR-MSA is affiliated with MSA National, the oldest Muslim Brotherhood front organization in the United States. MSA members have been linked to more than a dozen jihadist terror incidents in the United States, and a similar number in Canada. An NYPD intelligence report described some MSAs as “potential incubators” of terrorism.
Mustafa Kuko himself was one of the earliest founders of the Riverside mosque that was founded by UCR Muslim Students, and so it is reasonable to presume that Kuko was himself an early MSA member.
Additionally Kuko is a long time employee of the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia, according to an interview Kuko gave in 2011.
The Saudi Ministry of Education has been repeatedly noted for its publication and distribution of textbooks including violent anti-Christian and anti-Semitism passages. Despite launching multiple public relations campaigns aimed at convincing the world that the Saudi education system has cleaned up its act, expert Nina Shea has noted that disturbing indoctrination remains a key element of Saudi education.
ICR is one of the mosques of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, an organization whose leadership has long standing Muslim Brotherhood ties, including to Maher and Hassan Hathout, and Muzammil Siddiqi. Siddiqi himself personally translated for the “Blind Sheik” Omar Abdul Rahman at a lecture the convicted terror leader gave at the Islamic Society of Orange County, which Siddiqui leads.
The Islamic Center of Riverside appears to have a close relationship with the Hamas-linked Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), with CAIR tabling and handing out pamphlets at the mosque per a photo on the Mosque’s Facebook page, posted by CAIR leader Hussam Ayloush. Ayloush was one of the primary speakers at a CAIR organized press conference that took place the night of the attack where Ayloush described America and the West as “partially responsible.”
Additionally, ICR has close ties with the Islamic Circle of North America, holding multiple events together with ICNA. While it no longer appears, ICNA once promoted the ICR on their webpage, according to an archived version of the site.
It turns out that Farooq’s mother Rafia Farooq, was close to ICNA as well, receiving a certificate of completion from the group’s Sisters’ Wing, as reported by the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross.
ICNA is the American front of the Pakistani based Jamaat-e-Islami, a revivalist Islamic movement close to the MB. Jamaat-e-Islami’s founder Abul Ala Maududi writing married Islamic doctrine with a modern language of “world revolution.” For example, Maududi wrote:
Muslims are in fact an international revolutionary party organised under the ideology of Islam to implement its revolutionary programme. Jihad is the term, denoting the revolutionary struggle to the utmost, of the Islamic revolutionary party to bring about Islamic revolution.”
JEI has a clear willingness to engage in violence in order to accomplish its “revolutionary” goals. During Bangladesh’s war of independence, JEI militias carried out a brutal campaign of genocide against Bengalis while fighting alongside the Pakistani military. In the past few years Bangladesh has carried out a series of trials against JEI leaders for their war crimes, with many convicted, and some executed for their role in the atrocities.
One of those convicted was Ashrafuzzaman Khan, was the former Secretary General of ICNA. Khan was accused of directly overseeing the execution of 18 intellectuals at Dhaka University, including killing seven personally.
JEI continues following in Khan’s footsteps, as it responded to convictions with violent riots that
It is startling that neither the mainstream media, nor apparently federal law enforcement have expressed any interest in the nexus of JEI or MSA in the San Bernardino case.
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, French authorities have responded by increasingly investigating the role played by indoctrination in mosques, causing them to shutter several. German intelligence warn that local German mosques controlled by Islamists may recruit otherwise non-threatening refugees to jihad and warned against Saudi funding of German mosques. Following the attack in June where an Islamic State gunman killed 38 in Tunisia the Tunisian government responded by closing numerous mosques where violence was suspected of being preached.
Yet in the United States the stridently pro-jihad nature of organizations linked to the shooter’s mosque is never even discussed, key clues from such organizations are left discarded at the crime scene, and instead the local imam’s words are taken as that of an unimpeachable character witness. Indeed, law enforcement in New York has faced lawsuits and aggressive media slandering over the surveillance of mosques and other organizations whose links to terrorism and violence are well established.
Until the U.S. is prepared to even consider the possibility that U.S.-based Islamic groups, their ties to the wider Global Islamic movement well established, may play a role in terror attacks on the homeland, there will be no prospect of effective U.S. counterterrorism.