"In death there is something to celebrate..."
- Affad Shaikh, ‘Celebrating Death,’ December 20, 2007
Last month, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents stationed at the U.S./Mexico border held the Civil Rights Coordinator of CAIR-California, Affad Shaikh, and others whom he was with for questioning. The agents suspected that the group had the intention of coming to the United States to assassinate President Bush. The following will provide a detailed context for why the CBP would believe such a thing and will make the case as to why the U.S. government should not drop the issue.
Affad Shaikh has spent the last 20 years of his life in the U.S. He was born in Karachi, Pakistan. Though he has been here for as long as he has, he has had mixed feelings about his status as an American.
In an article he wrote in September of 2006, entitled ‘Five Years Ago an American Muslim was born,’ Shaikh stated that, due to the events that took place on September 11, 2001, “America stopped being America” for him. He said that the “war on Terrorism” that the government waged following the attacks has been, in reality, a “war on Muslims and Islam.”
He wrote, “The fact is, there is a new generation of angry Americans who happen to be American, and who happen to not like what America is becoming. The more Islam is reviled and connected to terrorism, the more kids my age and younger will turn to Islam to define their perspective and their reality.”
Shaikh’s reaction to the attacks was not one of revilement for the attackers, but was instead an embrace of the ideology of the attackers. He became observant, when he had never been before; he grew a beard; and he joined the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), two groups closely aligned with the radical Muslim Brotherhood overseas, the latter being born out of Hamas. He stated that he wanted people to “stare” at him and think that “this guy might be a terrorist.”
Thus began Affad Shaikh’s indoctrination into the evil world of radical Islam. And now, nearly seven years later, he has discovered that there may very well be consequences for his actions.
On July 26, 2008, Shaikh posted to Muslamics, a blog which he is a contributing writer for, a piece about an incident he had with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents stationed at the San Yasidero U.S./Mexico border check point. He titled it, ‘Europeans Need not Come to the US.’ Evidently, he and some others, including a Dutch “friend” of his, were attempting to make their way into the States via Mexico and were stopped.
According to Shaikh, the CBP, whom Shaikh described as “ignorant, incompetent and inhuman,” had reason to believe that Shaikh and his friends were plotting to assassinate President Bush. He stated, “[T]hey felt that we – the group of us – were coming to the US to ‘kill the President’ in one agents own words.” Shaikh said that he sat for “three hours” at the checkpoint.
The charge of plotting to kill the President is, of course, a serious one. In fact, it was less than three years ago that a 24-year-old U.S. citizen named Ahmed Omar Abu Ali was convicted of plotting just the same. Ali, born to a Jordanian father, was enrolled at a university in Saudi Arabia, when he joined up with Al-Qaeda and soon planned to create a terror cell in the U.S. and personally murder President Bush. Ali was sentenced, in March of 2006, to 30 years in prison, followed by 30 years of supervised release.
The border guard’s accusation against Shaikh was not an unfounded one. Indeed, Shaikh has exhibited a profound hostility towards President Bush and those close to the President, evidenced by the following quotes made by him:
- “The Bush administration has quite a bit of blood on their hands.” (May 22, 2005)
- “‘So Hezbollah is giving $4,000 each to the residents of South Lebanon and promising to rebuild their towns. Seeing such quick actions, we should disband FEMA - after its woeful performance in New Orleans - and outsource the job to Hezbollah’... This is a great social commentary. How one man’s terrorist organization is also better at accomadating the very people they have put under the gun, then there is our terrorist facist government lead by President Bush...” (September 7, 2006)
- “Bush is a liar. Cheney is [a] fat retard of a liar. Gonzales is a liar. Rice is a liar. Karl Rove is a liar. This country is run by liars and crooks and criminals all of them are masquerading as Republicans and WHY ARE THEY NOT IN PRISON?” (July 19, 2007)
- “Bush and Rice [are] a Bunch of Cowardly Idiots.” (March 4, 2008)
Shaikh’s statements against President Bush are mostly recent, a telling sign that, over time, since 9/11, Shaikh’s behavior has gotten more radical.
Shortly after his indoctrination, Shaikh became a follower of Anwar Nasser Al-Awlaki, a.k.a. Abu Atiq, an imam who had previously led a mosque in San Diego, the same city where Shaikh had graduated college. According to witnesses, beginning in San Diego, Al-Awlaki came in contact with a number of 9/11 hijackers, including Khalid al-Mihdhar, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Hani Hanjour.
Al-Awlaki, himself, is suspected of having been involved in various Al-Qaeda attack plots against the United States and others. He also served as vice president of the now-defunct U.S. branch of the Charitable Society for Social Welfare (CSSW), which has been described as an al-Qaeda financing front. In August of 2006, at the behest of the U.S. government, Al-Awlaki was arrested in Yemen and spent the next year and a half in solitary confinement. Shaikh’s blog Muslamics presently contains a link to Al-Awlaki’s official website on all of its pages.
During Anwar Al-Awlaki’s imprisonment, he was visited by agents from the FBI for interrogation. According to him, they put pressure on him, which “led to a conflict.” It may be pure coincidence, but in November of 2006, while Al-Awlaki was being held, Shaikh issued the following warning: “[H]ere is my advice to fellow American Muslims: NEVER GO INTO AN INTERVIEW WITH THE FBI, WITH OUT COVERING YOURSELF.”
Like most Islamists, Shaikh spends much of his time denouncing Israel and America’s relationship to her. In May of 2007, he foretold of a future catastrophic event that will arise, due to this relationship. He wrote, “I can not even begin to explain why we in the United States continue to support a country that has broken more UN resolutions then Saddam... For those of you who do not know, Israel is a Jewish state, and any who are not Jewish are second class citizens. If we in the West continue to feed into the this idea and support a state that is not truly in line with Democratic principles then we are fooling ourselves and setting up for a catastrophe of great magnitude.”
Shaikh has verbally attacked various government officials for having what he perceives to be a pro-Israel bias, including Senator Barbara Boxer and Congresswoman Jane Harman, who he has labeled “a pocket protector for [the Israel lobby group] AIPAC.”
He has even targeted Muslim leaders. In February of 2008, he posted to his blog a video derogatorily depicting the heads of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority wearing outfits with big Jewish stars on them, dancing hand-in-hand with Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert. He titled the post, ‘Imagine a World Where Zionism Won.’
Shaikh’s animosity for Israel makes sense, given the fact that the group he works for, CAIR, was a creation of the Hamas movement. Sheikh has also admitted to financially supporting Islamic Relief, a “charity” the Israeli government has labeled a front for Hamas.
And while his preoccupation with Israel borders on obsession, his vitriol for America is not far behind. In May of 2000, Shaikh said, “The United States is among the least peaceful nations in the world.” As well, he has borrowed vernacular from Al-Qaeda, referring to Americans in Iraq as “Crusaders.”
Any one of his statements left on its own would suggest little more than the fact that Affad Shaikh is a disgruntled Islamist. However, taken as a whole, Shaikh’s activity translates to a potential danger – to the President and others.
One year ago, in August of 2007, the Executive Director of CAIR-California, Hussam Ayloush, posted a threat against President Bush on his personal website. It had been written by an enemy combatant held in Guantanamo Bay, who Ayloush was advocating for the release of. It read, “America, you ride on the backs of orphans, and terrorize them daily. Bush, beware.”
If the U.S./Mexico border agents were correct, Affad Shaikh, Hussam Ayloush’s colleague in CAIR, might very well have been the answer to this unheeded warning.
In May of 2007, Shaikh penned an article, which he ominously ended with the statement, “Get rid of the Pharaoh in Egypt along with the Prince of Israel.” The quote was in the context of U.S. support for the Jewish state. Question: Was President Bush supposed to be the “Pharoah” or the “Prince”?