Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Osama al-Magid, a former police officer in Iraq (1992- 2003). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FP: Osama al-Magid, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Al-Magid: Thank you Mr. Glazov. I hope to provide information to the American public that will help them understand that terrorism in the U.S. from Al Qaeda did not end on September 11th, 2001. There are currently supporters of Al Qaeda not only outside of the U.S. but also inside of it.
This is my first interview pertaining to many of the issues I am going to discuss with you. Right now I can provide some details, but as time goes by I will be providing the Americans with more about the truth in Iraq. There have been friends of mine who have tried to inform the American people about things in Iraq before 2003 and after the Americans came to Iraq, but for some reasons the information has not been widely publicized. I will tell the American people that a person who is like a brother to me has risked his life to tell people about many important issues in Iraq. I met Special Agent Dave Gaubatz in 2003 (Nasiriyah). Dave and I started working together to obtain intelligence about threats against the U.S. forces. We traveled in Nasiriyah and other cities. We protected one another and today in 2008 we are still working together. I can’t explain everything right now for security reasons, but we are traveling through America and trying to identify terrorists and their supporters who want to attack America like in 2001. We are trying to help law enforcement so they can protect America.
Both of us have families and we do not want the children in America, Iraq, or any country to suffer from terrorism.
FP: Tell us about your experience as a police officer in Iraq. In what cities did you work? What happened after the American liberation?
Al-Magid: I attended the Iraq Police Academy in Baghdad for three years from 1992 - 1995. I was then assigned to Nasiriyah and Basra. Of course as a police officer I traveled and worked in many cities throughout Iraq. I attained the rank of Captain. I was trained in all areas of criminal investigations. I worked robbery and murder cases. Americans must understand that under Saddam Hussein the members of the Baath Party and other "privileged people" living in Iraq could commit major crimes like murder and rape and receive protection. As police officers we could only investigate people we were allowed by Saddam to investigate.
My family and I were very happy when we realized the Americans were coming to Iraq. Although many Iraqi people were happy the Americans were coming to remove Saddam Hussein, they were not allowed to show it. Some did and they were killed by the Fedeyeen for doing so. One example was a young girl on the roof of her house and she saw the American helicopters in Nasiriyah. She started waving to the Americans. Some of her Baath party neighbors saw her waving. They reported this to the officials. The Fedeyeen came and killed her mother and father in front of her. Being a police officer and knowing they had committed crimes did not mean I or any officer could arrest them. The Fedeyeen were under the protection of Saddam.
After the Americans came to Iraq, it did not become peaceful. There were many people still in all cities who supported Saddam Hussein. From March 2003 until the fall of 2003, many supporters of Saddam were simply regrouping and preparing for attacks against the Americans.
FP: How about Al Qaeda in Iraq?
Al-Magid: Al Qaeda and other people who believed the same as Al Qaeda had been in Iraq for many years. When I say “believed” I mean people who hated America and wanted to destroy the U.S.
Saddam had this in common with Al Qaeda and this is why he provided them protection. My family and I had suffered under Saddam as many Iraqis did. Even as a police officer I had been put in jail and tortured because some people knew I did not like how Saddam treated his own people. Many members of my family had also been tortured, but luckily we had enough money to pay the Baath Party in order to get them out of jail.
FP: So how did Dave Gaubatz come into the picture?
Al-Magid: Around 2003, as I have mentioned, I met Mr. Gaubatz. My family and I wanted to help the Americans and we went to a base to speak with someone who could work with us. Dave knew our family had already saved some American soldiers’ lives and we started working together. I can’t mention some things right now, but I can say we talked about Al Qaeda and the Iranians being in Iraq before 2003. Saddam used some of these groups to terrorize the Iraqi people so they would not go against him.
Dave, one other agent, and I traveled through different states to obtain some security information. We did not have security forces with us. In early 2003, the agents and I traveled by ourselves. It was very dangerous, but the information we obtained was very important.
Many people will want to know how I was able to come to the U.S. in late 2003. I can say that my family and I had provided the U.S. very important security information and we had saved many American soldiers lives. It was arranged through the U.S. Government for us to live in America. I believe it is very important for everyone in America to work together to protect America, because there are terrorists who want to destroy this country.
Both Dave Gaubatz and I know how dangerous Al Qaeda is. Dave is from America, I am from Iraq, he is a Christian, and I am a Muslim. We care for each other and our families care about each other. Al Qaeda does not care about any of us.
FP: Can you talk about Al Qaeda in Iraq before and after 2003?
Al-Magid: I have discussed some points about Al Qaeda being in Iraq for many years before 2003. This seems to only be a surprise to Americans, but everyone in Iraq knew Al Qaeda was being protected by Saddam in Iraq. The Al Qaeda people had their own mosques in Nasiriyah and only Al Qaeda could go to the mosques. One of their mosques was near the Saddam hospital that Private Jessica Lynch was being held as a prisoner.
Americans do not understand how much they helped the Iraqis when they removed Saddam.
Something that U.S. forces must understand in Iraq is that if they are speaking with someone they must be very careful. This person may be a good person, but maybe they know someone in their family who is Fedeyeen, senior Baath Party, or with Al Qaeda. One of my relatives was a senior Baath Party member, but I was not. My father was a good man and he did not want his children being unkind to anyone. He did not want us to support the Baath Party.
When my family and I helped the Americans in 2003, we knew it was very dangerous. Many Iraqis had been killed and still are for helping the Americans. Fedeyeen and Al Qaeda had tried to find us in Iraq. They had told our neighbors they would kill us. They burnt our home down. Dave Gaubatz was able to get us to safety and to the U.S. We knew they would not stop looking for us though. It was no secret to the Iraqi people that Al Qaeda and their supporters were living in America. The borders of America are open and there are people who come across the borders to enter the U.S. When I arrived in the U.S. in late 2003, it was not long before we began to be followed and then some Arabs came to our home once. U.S. Government security handled the situation for us.
FP: Your thoughts on Islamic extremism in America?
Al-Magid: I have met people since 2004 who are recruiting new Muslims arriving in America to join the ‘Wahhabi’ movement. These people want to start a Wahhabi nation in America. They have tried to recruit me. Dave Gaubatz and I have worked as police officers for many years and have studied Al Qaeda and other terrorists group. We have visited places in the U.S. from the East coast to the West coast that have people who are supporting Al Qaeda. The Saudi Arabian government is behind the training of Islamic scholars with the Wahhabi ideology. They are trained in Saudi Arabia and then sent to many countries to spread this dangerous ideology. Many of the Imams at mosques in the U.S. are trained in Saudi Arabia. We have met many who tell us the U.S. should be an Islamic nation and they have violent material describing how to do this.
Hopefully the American people, especially our politicians and law enforcement will understand this problem. Terrorists groups are very powerful, they have money, and they do not care if they die. They do not care who they kill. They are in America and if the American people do not want more attacks like Sept. 11th, 2001, they had better start being more concerned about Wahhabi scholars spreading violence in the U.S.
Dave and I can take law enforcement and politicians to many areas of the U.S and show them the people who are trained by Saudi to spread the ideology of hate against the Christians, Jewish, and even Muslims who want to live in peace in this world .
FP: As a Muslim yourself, what are your views of Al Qaeda and jihad in general?
Al-Magid: Al Qaeda and groups like them are cowards and criminals. Even by saying this I am putting myself at risk because people who support Al Qaeda are living in America, and they consider that what I am saying is to be an Apostate. The penalty under Shari’a Law for Apostasy is of course death, and there are no boundaries for Al Qaeda as we all saw on Sept. 11th, 2001. There are many brave Muslims living in America who do condemn Al Qaeda, but their voices are seldom heard.
My father raised my brothers and sisters to respect all people of all faiths, and he taught that human life is the most precious gift we have. My father was imprisoned and tortured by Saddam Hussein’s Fedeyeen and Baath Party forces because of these basic human beliefs. I am Muslim and very proud to be, but there are criminals like Osama Bin Laden who have hurt the Muslims who only want to have a family, have medical and educational systems for their children, and live in peace.
I want Americans to understand that Al Qaeda has and will continue to commit terrorist acts against Christians, Jewish people, and Muslims who do not believe in the same violent ideology and interpretation of Islam as they do. Many Muslims in Iraq and other countries fear Al Qaeda just as much as Christians and the Jewish people do. This is why Dave Gaubatz and I have dedicated our lives to finding them in America. Then we report this information to law enforcement.
Of course there is jihad within Islam, but Al Qaeda and criminals like them are not the people who would call the Muslims to fight. It would be by legitimate governments and only after peace has been sought. The Muslim people I was raised with do not want to fight anyone. They want their children to live peaceful lives and are afraid their children will someday be attacked by terrorists. Islam is peace. As we learned from the Quran: is someone kills one person (doesn't says just Muslim which means all human beings whether Christian or Jew) it is as if he killed all of humanity -- and he who helps to give life to one person helps all human beings.
FP: Well the problem is that the imperative to subjugate the world under the rule of Islamic law is deeply embedded within Islamic theology and tradition (i.e. Qur’an 9:29, Sahih Muslim 4294, and a host of other evidence from all the Sunni madhahib and Shi’ite sources, etc.)
All the schools of Islamic jurisprudence teach that it is part of the responsibility of the umma to subjugate the non-Muslim world through jihad.
But this is not the debate that we need to have here today my friend.
It is clear that there are many Muslims like you who reject violent jihad. In a future forum here at Frontpage, I would like you to join us to give your thoughts on how Muslims who reject jihad can best help de-jihadize the teachings on Jihad in Islam – and if this is at all possible or realistic.
Al-Magid: It is important for me to clarify that Sahih Muslim is used by the Sunni Muslims. The Shiite people do not follow the four primary madhahibs as the Sunni people do. They have only one madhahib. Much of the violent material advocating Shari'a Law and the subjugation of the world is based on ideologies of Wahhab, Syed Qutb, and Abul Maududi. This is not to say the Iranian Shiite Muslims may advocate this, but some families and other Shiite people I know do not support the Iranians or Sunni Muslims who advocate violence. Actually, Islam is freedom of the mind but thats doesn't mean all Muslim people believe in that. Good Muslims believe that Islam is a choice -- it is not a must for another religion.
FP: Well the Qur'an has quite a bit to say about the obligation to fight against unbelievers, but let's have this discussion in another forum.
Let’s move on.
In your view, how must the U.S. fight Islamo-Fascism at home and abroad? What do you think of those who argue that America should pull out of Iraq right away?
Al-Magid: First law enforcement and our military must be trained. You can’t do this by reading books and be trained by people who have just read books. You have to understand the ‘mindset’ of people within Al Qaeda. This can only be done by trying to learn some Arabic, visiting countries in the Middle East, going to mosques in the U.S., and knowing the people who Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups respect. Most law enforcement in the U.S. can’t tell you who Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi is (founder of Jamaat Islamia/JI). I respect the law enforcement in America, but unfortunately they are not prepared to protect our children from future attacks. Possibly if they are trained and allowed to really do their jobs, then maybe, just maybe, America will not be attacked again.
Many Americans do not understand that most Imams in the U.S. are trained in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia does not respect Americans and the Islamic scholars (and Universities) educate their young people to hate Christians, Jews, and Muslims who do not follow the Salafist (Wahhabi) beliefs. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan also distribute most of the violent material against America. This material can be found in Wahhabi mosques, but America allows this to happen even when it is brought to the attention of law enforcement.
If America leaves Iraq now, the Saudi will take over Iraq. They have been undermining the efforts of America since 2003 within Iraq. Nothing goes on in the Middle East without the Saudi government knowing about it. Yet America is soft on them.
FP: Osama al-Magid, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.
Al-Magid: It was my pleasure to talk to one of the best news sites that looks for the truth. Thank you.