While walking through the center of campus earlier this month, students at the University of California at Irvine were hard put to avoid hearing ringing endorsements of Islamic terrorism. Invited guests of the Muslim Student Union unambiguously praised jihad and martyrdom during the annual anti-Israel hatefest without any fear of being denounced by a craven UC-Irvine administration. Amir Abdel Malik Ali, a radical Oakland imam, followed up last year’s call for the complete Muslim rule of Israel with these words:
The apartheid state of Israel is on the way down, too. They are living in straight-up fear, and it’s about time that they live in fear. I’m told that they’re afraid to get on buses and things, or go to the café…The people who you are fighting are coming to die. Meanwhile, you are coming to live. And once you deal with a people who are ready to die, who say either victory or martyrdom, you can’t fight against that.
This clear justification for terrorizing civilians was met with resounding cries of “Allahu Akbar!” by the Muslim students in attendance.
The fact that suicide bombers typically give this same shout of “God is great!” before blowing themselves up raises the question: Could these Muslim students in sleepy Irvine, California, become future terrorists? The FBI apparently thinks so.
The Orange County Register reports, “the FBI appears to be actively studying Muslim student groups at UCI as part of an intense surveillance program to detect potential terrorists.” Pat Rose, head of the FBI’s Orange County al-Qaeda squad, says that the agency is aware of many Muslims at UC-Irvine and the University of Southern California.
If recent history is a reliable guide, the FBI is wise to be focusing attention on college campuses. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, America has been attacked since 9/11. Mohammad Taheri-azar injured six people on March 3, when he drove his SUV into a crowd of students at the University of North Carolina. Although the recent UNC graduate made it abundantly clear that he acted in the name of Allah, Chancellor James Moeser assured the public that while “this could feel like terrorism,” he had come to the conclusion that “this was one individual acting alone in a criminal act.”
Even Moeser wouldn’t deny that the attacks of September 11 were terrorist acts. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a captured al-Qaeda operative, clearly had jihad on his mind when he organized 9/11 and the U.S.S. Cole attack. This terrorist also has a connection to universities in North Carolina. Mohammed attended Chowan College in Murfreesburo, NC, in the 1980s. There he associated with a group of radical Muslim students known as “The Mullahs.” Later, at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, he studied mechanical engineering – a practical major for an aspiring terrorist mastermind.
Another mechanical engineering student was arrested on March 23, 2006. U.S. authorities claim that while Syed Haris Ahmed attended Georgia Tech, he provided material support to terrorists. Mahmoud Maawad, a student from Egypt who attended the University of Memphis, was arrested in 2005 after a pilot's uniform, chart of Memphis International Airport and a DVD entitled "How an Airline Captain Should Look and Act" were found in his apartment.
Why are college campuses such fertile ground for budding jihadists? One reason is that Muslim student groups are staunch supporters of Islamic extremism. The Muslim Student’s Association (MSA) was created in 1963 by the government of Saudi Arabia. Today the Saudi’s Wahhabi Muslim politics are disseminated at the more than 150 colleges across North America with MSA chapters. In his essay “The Missing Link in the War on Terror: Confronting Saudi Subversion,” Alex Alexiev of the Center for Security Policy points out, “The majority of Muslim Student Associations at U.S. colleges are dominated by Islamist and anti-American agendas, as are most of the numerous Islamic centers and schools financed by the Saudis.”
Meanwhile, tenured radical professors impart a multicultural dogma to their students that makes it all too easy to justify Islamic terrorism. At an “antiwar” teach-in in 2003, Columbia anthropology professor Nicholas De Genova said, “The only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military. I personally would like to see a million Mogadishus.” The popular (at least in “peace studies” classes) text Peace and Conflict Studies by Professors David Barash and Charles Webel teaches students: “Placing ‘terrorist’ in quotation marks may be jarring for some readers, who consider the designation self-evident. We do so, however, not to minimize the horror of such acts but to emphasize the value of qualifying righteous indignation by the recognition that often one person’s ‘terrorist’ is another’s ‘freedom fighter.” Indeed, sometimes it feels our universities are being run by our enemies. Rahmatullah Hashemi, former deputy foreign secretary of the Taliban, surely feels right at home now as a student at Yale, one of the top universities in the country.
Common sense alone would dictate to terrorist organizations the advantages of infiltrating such hospitable locales as college campuses. In fact, European officials claim that there is currently a wide effort underway by terrorist groups to use universities to replace terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. The Los Angeles Times recently ran a story about a suspected terrorist cell at the University of Montpellier in France. It consisted of a group of Moroccan students who were studying computer technology, electronics and telecommunications. These classes were not taken to improve the men’s job prospects in France’s anemic economy, but rather as cover for acquiring expertise and designing explosive detonators for the Algeria-based Salafist Group for Call and Combat. The terrorist organization has ties with Abu Musah Zarqawi and is focused on sending martyrs to Iraq and planning strikes on Europe. Arrests in France last year revealed that the group was planning attacks in Bologna and Paris.
Of the suspected terrorists at the university, a French anti-terrorism official said:
They oriented their scientific studies to learn terrorist techniques. As people like this acquire knowledge and advance in the scientific community, they could become very hard for the police to detect. It was all quite sophisticated.
The 9/11 hijackers used American flight schools to prepare for the deadliest attack in the nation’s history. In retrospect, the fact that they were not interested in learning how to land planes was a dead giveaway of their evil intentions. With its increased surveillance of radical Muslim students at American universities like UC-Irvine, the FBI seems to realize that justifying terrorism might be another clue.
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