Fox News promotes terror-tied, FBI-shunned group

WND

Bankrolled by same wealthy Saudi prince, CAIR now regular guest on cable leader

CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper, right, on the Fox News "O'Reilly Factor" show with host Bill O'Reilly last week

Long a reliably patriotic media source in the war on terror, Fox News may now be among news outlets who have fallen under the spell of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ propaganda machine.

“We own the media,” CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper privately brags, according to a source currently working inside the aggressive Islamist lobby group.

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly last week invited the TV-savvy Hooper on his show to debate passenger profiling, the second guest appearance by the CAIR spokesman in a month. At the end of the segment, O’Reilly thanked Hooper and called him a “stand-up guy,” sending shockwaves through the conservative blogosphere.

CAIR is no ordinary guest. The government has blacklisted it as an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator, and the group remains under criminal suspicion by the FBI, which has cut off outreach ties to it.

Congress and the IRS also are investigating CAIR, which has had no fewer than 15 executives and board members convicted or implicated in terror probes, including its founding chairman.

In addition, CAIR’s very existence as a legitimate corporation has been challenged in a lawsuit in federal court.

FBI agents arresting CAIR founder

Get “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America,” autographed, from WND’s Superstore.

Given CAIR’s proven ties to terrorism – which O’Reilly failed to mention – why would Fox offer the group’s top executives a virtually uncritical forum on prime-time cable TV? Saudi Arabian money may be a factor.

It turns out that the same billionaire Saudi prince who owns a major stake in Fox’s parent company also bankrolls Washington-based CAIR. And sensitive State Department records reveal Hooper – despite his repeated public denials – has personally solicited cash from the prince and other members of the ruling Saudi royal family during recent trips to the kingdom.

The common financial bond between Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal and Fox, and between bin Talal and CAIR, raises questions not only about Fox News’s independence, but about the truthfulness of CAIR’s top spokesman.

Hooper repeatedly has denied that CAIR receives foreign support, insisting it’s a “grass-roots” nonprofit organization. In CAIR press releases, Hooper has stated unequivocally: “We do not support directly or indirectly or receive support from any overseas group or government.”

However, smoking-gun video footage obtained during a recent six-month covert investigation of CAIR puts the lie to Hooper’s claims.

In a private conversation with undercover researcher Chris Gaubatz, who was posing at the time as a CAIR intern, Hooper boasted that he personally can “bring (in) a half million of overseas money” a year, adding: “If some guy’s got a lot of extra money in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), I don’t mind taking it.” Hooper made the remarks Aug. 30, 2008, during the Islamic Society of North America’s 2008 annual convention in Columbus, Ohio.

A State Department cable citing Hooper by name, moreover, directly contradicts Hooper’s denials about foreign support, according to the blockbuster book “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America,” which exposes the secret inner workings of CAIR, among other radical Muslim Brotherhood front groups in America. (The book is based, in part, on voluminous documentary and videotaped evidence gathered by Gaubatz during his internship.)

The sensitive but unclassified communiqué was written by U.S. Embassy staff in Saudi Arabia, who in June 2006 reported the following after meeting with a CAIR delegation: “One admitted reason for the group’s current visit to the KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) was to solicit $50 million in governmental and non-governmental contributions.”

“(Saudi) King Abdullah knows CAIR very well,” the cable added.

Among other things, CAIR said the money would be used to “counter negative stereotypes about Muslims in the U.S.” media, a phenomenon described by CAIR as “Islamophobia.”

The core delegation, according to the cable, consisted of Hooper, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad and then-CAIR Chairman Parvez Ahmed. Besides Riyadh, the trio also visited Mecca and Jeddah.

Just three months after the trip, Hooper denied soliciting Saudi government funds.

“To my knowledge, we don’t take money from the government of Saudi Arabia,” he said in a September 2006 appearance on MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson show.

At a meeting held that year at the Saudi headquarters of the kingdom-run World Assembly of Muslim Youth – whose U.S. branch was formerly run by Osama bin Laden’s nephew – CAIR announced the launch of a massive PR campaign and warned potential donors that the U.S. was trying to curtail the political activity of Muslims.

Awad, with Hooper at his side, said CAIR needed a well-funded endowment to change American opinion. He proposed spending $10 million annually for five years on the media campaign.

“We are planning to meet Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal for his financial support to our project,” Awad told the Arab press. “He has been generous in the past.”

Indeed, the Saudi prince donated at least $500,000 to CAIR after 9/11. He also presented a $10 million relief check to then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani – or at least he tried. Giuliani rejected the gift after bin Talal blamed America’s “pro-Israel” policies in the Middle East for the attacks.

Prince Bin Talal’s voting stake

Prince al-Walid bin Talal

Bin Talal, a member of the Saudi ruling family, owns a 5.5 percent voting stake in Fox News’ parent News Corp., run by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch. The prince has said he is willing to increase his share in Fox’s parent to fend off hostile takeover bids by rivals. Murdoch, in turn, has invested in bin Talal’s Saudi-based enterprises.

It is not immediately clear if bin Talal has influenced Fox’s decision to book CAIR. But there is strong evidence that bin Talal has directly influenced Fox News content in the past.

As WND reported, during violent street protests involving Muslim immigrants in France in 2005, the Saudi prince persuaded Murdoch to change a screen banner that identified the unrest as “Muslim riots.”

“I picked up the phone and called Murdoch (and told him) these are not Muslim riots, these are riots out of poverty,” bin Talal said. “Within 30 minutes, the title was changed from ‘Muslim riots’ to ‘civil riots.’ “

Fox News has acknowledged it changed the banner after receiving complaints from unnamed Muslims abroad. It has not denied bin Talal’s influence in its internal operations.

Bin Talal isn’t the only member of the ruling Saudi elite bankrolling CAIR.

Bank wire records published exclusively in “Muslim Mafia” show another Saudi royal family member has pumped six-figure sums into CAIR coffers. In 2007, for example, Saudi Prince Abdullah bin Mosa’ad transferred $112,000 directly into CAIR’s bank account at Citibank.

The Saudi bank transfers further undermine the official line peddled by Hooper, who has a reputation for dissembling.

Longtime CAIR critic Andrew Whitehead, for one, calls him “CAIR’s liar-for-hire,” and argues he cannot be trusted as a media spokesman. CAIR sued Whitehead for defamation and lost.

“The record shows CAIR habitually engages in deception,” said terror expert Steven Emerson, executive director of the “Investigative Project on Terrorism” and author of “Jihad Inc.”

In 2003, for example, CAIR accused WND of “demonizing Muslims” for citing a Bay Area newspaper’s report that CAIR’s then-chairman, Omar Ahmad, told a gathering of Muslims that Islam was in America to dominate and that the Quran would one day rule over America. In a phone interview, Hooper insisted to WND that CAIR had sought a retraction from the newspaper. But Hooper was forced to backtrack when confronted with the fact that the editors and reporter had just declared they never spoke with CAIR and, furthermore, stood by the story.

Despite CAIR’s dubious reputation, Fox has recently given Hooper and other top CAIR leaders an unchallenged platform to persuade the American public to back off passenger profiling and other measures to counter an ominous upswing in terrorism.

Since the Fort Hood terrorist attack by a Muslim Army officer, CAIR’s leaders have been invited on Fox at least four times, even though there are several other Muslim groups considered genuinely moderate who could speak for the Muslim community, such as the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.

“The issue,” Emerson said, “is whether CAIR is an honest and reliable broker for American Muslims.”

Hooper was invited on “The O’Reilly Factor” twice to shoot down profiling following the attempted airline attack by a Muslim would-be suicide bomber who concealed explosives in his underwear. In both appearances, Hooper – looking less fundamentalist without his trademark kufi skull cap – was given a full segment unopposed and unanswered by other guests.

In the wake of the Fort Hood attack, CAIR chief Awad was invited on Fox, and in an interview with Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum, Awad denied Islam had anything to do with the deadly massacre – even though it was known at the time that the shooter was Muslim and had yelled “Allahu Akbar!” before opening fire. Awad also got a full segment unopposed.

Free spin on Fox

Most recently, CAIR’s chief lobbyist Corey Saylor appeared on Fox New during an interview with anchor Bill Hemmer. Fox did not balance Saylor with an opposing guest to challenge the CAIR spokesman during his full segment, in which he contended young Muslim men are no more “security threats” than 85-year-old grandmothers.

Washington recently added Saudi Arabia – CAIR’s patron – to a list of 14 mostly Muslim nations whose travelers will undergo extra airport security screening. Saylor slammed the new Obama administration policy as “across-the-board profiling” and complained “Muslims will pay the price for this one.”

CAIR's Corey Saylor on the Fox News show "America's Newsroom" with co-anchor Bill Hemmer

At no time during any of the four appearances by CAIR leaders did Fox bring up the fact that the FBI has cut off ties to CAIR or that the Justice Department has blacklisted the group as an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator – information critical to the public’s understanding of CAIR’s possible bias in delinking terrorism from Islam and arguing against Islamic terrorist profiling.

Curiously, even O’Reilly of “no-spin zone” fame failed to so much as hint at the many controversies surrounding CAIR in his introduction of Hooper.

O’Reilly also let Hooper get away with a glaring falsehood during his most recent appearance.

Hooper maintained CAIR does not share al-Qaida’s “talking point” that America and the West are “at war with Islam.” Yet after the Iraq war, CAIR’s chairman declared: “The United States is at war with Islam itself.”

Detractors say the misleading statement is yet another example of CAIR’s deceptive tactics, which should give the media pause before booking CAIR representatives as the official voice of Muslim Americans.

Investigative journalist Paul Sperry, co-author of “Muslim Mafia,” says giving CAIR’s leaders a media platform is “like giving Hamas and the terrorist enemy a platform.”

He notes that while CAIR may bill itself as a “civil-rights advocacy group,” the FBI says that far from being a benign nonprofit, it’s an American front group for Hamas terrorists and the radical Muslim Brotherhood – the parent of both Hamas and al-Qaida. The bureau last year cut off formal ties to CAIR’s national office in Washington and all 30 of its branch offices across the country.

CAIR at the time blamed its ban on the “right-wing” Bush administration and confidently predicted that a Democrat administration would restore relations. Yet fully a year into the Obama administration, CAIR remains frozen out of any formal outreach with the FBI.

“Even the Muslim-friendly Obama has not helped CAIR,” Sperry pointed out.

At the same time, the Justice Department has blacklisted CAIR as an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator in the largest terror finance case in U.S. history, against the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation. The trial ended in convictions on all 108 counts.

Prosecutors have also connected CAIR directly to the Muslim Brotherhood, a worldwide jihadist movement that seeks to institutionalize Saudi-style Shariah law in America and the West through immigration, coercion and political infiltration.

“From its founding by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists,” assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Kromberg stated in a court filing.

Sperry says “that makes CAIR mouthpiece Hooper an advocate for the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorists, and a fiercely effective one at that.”

He adds that the Saudis and CAIR’s other Arab patrons pay him well for it – more than $95,000 a year in total compensation, IRS records show.

Who is ‘Dougie’ Hooper?

He also commands a six-figure annual budget for conducting opposition research against CAIR’s enemies – which internal documents revealed in “Muslim Mafia” include, ironically, Fox’s O’Reilly and other “right-wing” media personalities.

A Canadian immigrant, the 53-year-old Hooper was known as “Dougie” before he converted to Islam. His birth name is Cary Douglas Hooper, according to government records.

He became a member of the Cairo Foreign Press Association while working for periodicals in the Egyptian capital, the global headquarters of the radical Muslim Brotherhood. Hooper also worked for local TV stations in Minnesota, where he once let it slip out that he favored Islamic rule in America.

Ibrahim Hooper

“I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future,” Hooper said in a 1993 interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education.”

“This is Hooper’s real agenda,” Sperry said, “make no mistake.”

In an October interview with CNN, Hooper denied charges of Middle Eastern influence-peddling: “We have no ties of any kind to any foreign group in any form.”

However, CAIR is on record promising to do the bidding of its Arab backers.

In 2006, shortly after a company owned by the United Arab Emirates lost a controversial bid to take over control of several major U.S. ports, Awad, Hooper and other CAIR officials traveled to the UAE to meet with its rulers.

It was agreed that the UAE would set up an endowment in the U.S. run by CAIR to fund an “education” program to change negative perceptions about Islam that the UAE believes contributed to the public outcry that derailed its multibillion-dollar ports deal.

The endowment caught the attention of the U.S. government, which issued another sensitive State Department cable regarding the unusual deal.

It noted UAE Minister of Finance Sheik Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum endorsed a proposal to build a $24 million property in the U.S. to serve as an endowment for CAIR to launch its $50 million image-building campaign through 2011.

“The endowment will serve as a source of income,” Awad told the Arab press at the time, “and will further allow us to reinvigorate our media campaign projecting Islam and its principles of tolerance.”

CAIR is working out details of its endowment with the Dubai-based Al-Maktoum Foundation, founded and controlled by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. The anti-Israeli charity has held telethons to support families of Palestinian suicide bombers and other so-called “martyrs.” Not surprisingly, the Arab press reported CAIR “values highly the stances of Al-Maktoum Charity Foundation.”

After 9/11, the Al-Maktoum Foundation took a nearly $1 million stake in CAIR’s headquarters property, just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol, as first reported by Sperry in his 2005 book, “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington.”

‘Selling its services’

The United Arab Emirates fears if its image is not repaired, its business interests will continue on a downward slide in America. CAIR’s leaders, who promised to act as a bulwark against any further backlash, described the planned $50 million endowment as more of a business contract than charity.

“Do not think about your contributions (to CAIR) as donations. Think about it from the perspective of rate of return,” former CAIR chairman Ahmed told finance ministers in Dubai, according to the Arab press.

“The investment of $50 million will give you billions of dollars in return for 50 years” if a sufficiently Arab-friendly environment can be created in America to allow sheiks to buy up key U.S. assets, he said.

CAIR critic Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, says the group is “selling its services to the Saudi and UAE governments by doing their ideological and financial bidding.”

Yet CAIR is not registered as a foreign agent, as required by the Justice Department. And it has never disclosed its foreign funding or relationships with countries tied to 9/11 and potentially still hostile to U.S. interests.

According to the U.S. Embassy cable, CAIR has other wealthy Emirate benefactors as well, including: the Bin Hamoodah Group, a $500 million-a-year trading company; and wealthy stock trader Talal Khoori, a UAE national of Iranian origin who is said to have donated $1 million to CAIR.

It’s plain that, notwithstanding Hooper’s denials, CAIR’s major funding comes from foreign sources largely in the Persian Gulf, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE – two nations that formally recognized and supported the Taliban rule in Afghanistan – and not from grass-roots domestic supporters as Hooper and CAIR publicly claim.

In fact, membership dues now account for a tiny 1 percent of CAIR’s total revenue, according to IRS records cited in “Muslim Mafia.” As CAIR’s domestic grass-roots support has dried up, it has stepped up its overseas fundraising efforts. Tax records show its travel budget for fundraising purposes has doubled since 2004.

Awad makes frequent pilgrimages to the Gulf to personally solicit funds. And he’s often joined by Hooper, who over the years has obtained several passports and is described by government officials as a “heavy traveler,” according to “Muslim Mafia.”

CAIR’s board recently proposed hiring an “international events manager” to help coordinate all the fundraising and other foreign activities. It has even created a special committee on “international affairs” headed by Awad to help tailor its pro-Arab message to American policymakers.

The amount of the UAE’s pledge toward the $50 million CAIR endowment is undisclosed. But it’s hardly the only Arab government funding it.

According to CAIR board meeting notes, revealed in “Muslim Mafia,” a Washington PR firm used by the Emirates – Hill and Knowlton – has put together a “business plan” to help CAIR raise money from other Gulf states.

“The UAE ambassador is willing to gather all ambassadors of the Gulf Cooperating Council to listen to a presentation,” Awad reported to the board. “In return, hopefully they will write to their respective people to ask for support.”

The six-member Gulf Cooperating Council was set up by the Saudis as a regional common market that includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE.

Investing in CAIR means having a reliable lobby for Arab interests in Washington, critics say.

“CAIR’s leaders have clearly stated their intention to use Arab funds to promote Arab interests in America, even though CAIR is not a registered foreign agent or even lobbyist,” Sperry said, adding that the interests of Saudi Arabia and the UAE – two nations tied to 9/11 – are more often than not at odds with those of America.

“Is O’Reilly aware of this?” Sperry asks, “And if he is, why does he withhold this critical information from his viewers when he books CAIR spinmeisters on his show?”

After the FBI in 2008 severed ties to CAIR, citing court evidence that its leaders were participating in an “ongoing” conspiracy to support terrorists, Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York requested that the FBI’s anti-CAIR ban be made “government-wide policy.”

“I would second that, and add an anti-CAIR ban in the media,” Sperry said. “Of all people, Fox should know better than to give the enemy voice. There are other legitimately moderate Muslim voices out there who can better speak for the broader Muslim community, and they aren’t hard to find. Why Fox keeps going back to CAIR really makes one wonder about the influence Saudi money is having at Fox.”

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World’s tallest building, Burj Dubai Tower, opens as a golden era closes

CSMonitor

Dubai Tower opens next month. But will this crowning jewel also be the city’s high watermark?

Burj Dubai, or Dubai Tower, will be the world's tallest building.

By Chris Gaylord

Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest tower, is a spire of superlatives.

The 160-story skyscraper will open on January 4, the fourth anniversary of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed al-Maktoum’s rule in Dubai.

Under the Sheikh, Dubai has seen a boom in record breakers, impressive firsts, and baffling spectacles. For example, the city is or will be home to the world’s first refrigerated beach, a twirling tower, the world’s largest arch-supported bridge, and artificial islands in the shape of the world map.

And Burj Dubai boasts more surprising bullet points than simply being the world’s tallest tower:

• At 2,700 feet tall, the skyscraper can be seen from 10 miles away.

• The building will sport the fastest elevators in the world, traveling at 10 meters per second (22 miles per hour). They will also be double-decker elevators, with each deck supporting up to 21 people.

• To keep out the desert heat, 10,000 tons of coolant with flow through the tower every hour.

• 230,000 cubic meters of concrete form the building’s core, enough to pave 1,180 miles of sidewalk.

• Dubai Tower will be the highlight of the worlds’ largest indoor shopping center, with space for 1,200 shops nestled among 30,000 apartments.

But Dubai is a very different place this month than it was in 2004 when construction began on the tower. As AFP reports:

Plunging property prices and weak demand had already put a dampener on new schemes even before last week’s shock announcement by state-owned giant Dubai World that it wants to halt debt payments for six months.

“It’s not exactly going to improve investor confidence,” said Matthew Green, associate director at property agency CB Richard Ellis, which has reported a 55 percent year-on-year drop in downtown Dubai commercial rental rates and a 67 percent fall outside the centre.

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Clinton: U.S. Will Extend ‘Defense Umbrella’ Over Gulf if Iran Obtains Nuclear Weapons

FOX NEWS

Secretary of state warns Iran that the United States would extend a “defense umbrella” over its allies in the Persian Gulf if the Islamic Republic obtains a nuclear weapons capability.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Iran Wednesday that the United States would extend a “defense umbrella” over its allies in the Persian Gulf if the Islamic Republic obtains a nuclear weapons capability.

Appearing on a Thai TV program, Clinton said the U.S. would also take steps to “upgrade the defense” of America’s Gulf allies in such an event, a reference to stepped-up military aid to those countries.

Clinton’s reference to a U.S. “defense umbrella” over the Persian Gulf represented a potentially significant evolution in America’s global defense posture. Washington already explicitly maintains a “nuclear umbrella” over Asian allies like Japan and South Korea, but seldom, if ever, has any senior U.S. official publicly discussed the concept in relation to the Gulf.

The secretary’s remarks also suggested the course the Obama administration might pursue if, as many analysts predict, an unchecked Iran succeeds in obtaining a nuclear weapons capability before President Obama’s term expires — in effect, how the United States might live with a nuclear-armed Iran. Clinton’s comments evoked a vision of the U.S. countering such a threat by bolstering regional defenses and reminding Iran of the dangers of mutually assured destruction — but not by seeking regime change in Iran or by taking military action to destroy the country’s nuclear apparatus.

“We want Iran to calculate what I think is a fair assessment that if the United States extends a defense umbrella over the region, if we do even more to support the military capacity of those in the Gulf, it’s unlikely that Iran will be any stronger or safer because they won’t be able to intimidate and dominate as they apparently believe they can once they have a nuclear weapon,” Clinton said.

A senior aide to Clinton, speaking to reporters on background while the secretary’s traveling party flew from Bangkok to Phuket, said Clinton’s comments did not reflect her acceptance of a nuclear-armed Iran nor a literal accounting of what the U.S. would do if Tehran did acquire nuclear weapons.

Rather, the aide said, the secretary was only articulating what arguments the Obama administration makes to influence Iran’s calculus. The aide also said Clinton’s use of the term “defense umbrella” was not synonymous with the term “nuclear umbrella,” even though the context of her comments centered on Iran’s potential acquisition of nuclear weapons.

In Jerusalem, though, Dan Meridor, Israel’s Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy, told Army Radio: “I was not thrilled to hear the American statement from yesterday that they will protect their allies with a nuclear umbrella, as if they have already come to terms with a nuclear Iran. I think that’s a mistake.”

Asked about the Obama administration’s attempts to engage Iran, Clinton said she “had hoped we would get a positive response … but then their elections happened.” Clinton told her Thai TV interviewers there was “no doubt” that “irregularities” occurred in Iran’s disputed presidential election and that the regime then “brutally repressed” those citizens that protested the announced outcome.

Because of these events, the secretary said, the Iranian regime has been “preoccupied” and thus not responded to American overtures. “The nuclear clock is ticking,” she said, noting that Tehran has continued to pursue its nuclear programs and adding that the U.S. and its allies in the nuclear diplomacy surrounding Iran “will not keep the window open forever.” She repeated previous pledges to work to impose “crippling” sanctions if Iran does not halt its enrichment of uranium.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Is Israel Already at War With Iran?

ABC NEWS

Experts Believe Israeli Securitry Forces Are Hacking Into Iranian Networks

By SIMON MCGREGOR-WOOD

Israel may have already started a war against Iran’s nuclear program not withbunker busting bombs and cruise missiles, but with computers.

Defense analysts believe Israel has been targeting the Islamic Republic’s computer networks, to gather intelligence on the nuclear program and also to launch cyber attacks against it.

“This has become a very important area in Israeli strategy, and it has to be taken into account,” said Alon Ben David, an Israeli defense specialist. “It has become a more and more important element both for intelligence gathering but also for aggressive operations.”

Experts believe Israeli intelligence agencies have been hacking into Iranian computer systems in an effort to disrupt or contaminate networks with viruses and malicious software.

“We came to the conclusion, for our purposes, a key Iranian vulnerability is in its online vulnerability,” an unnamed recently retired member of Israel’s security cabinet told the Reuters news agency. “We have acted accordingly.”

The potential for hacking into foreign networks came to light over 10 years ago in Israel during a routine defense exercise. Israeli hackers managed to break into an Israeli oil and gas storage facility and officials were shocked to discover how vulnerable their computer systems had become.

Since then Israel has been upgrading defensive mechanisms against cyber attack but also developing offensive capabilities, and defense analysts believe Israel’s thriving hi-tech commercial sector provides plenty of home-grown expertise.

One advantage of this secret war is that the attacker is difficult to identify, making retaliation much more difficult.

“You don’t see fire and smoke,” Israeli weapons expert Yiftar Shapir from the Israeli Institute for Security Studies said in an interview with ABC News. “Only when your computer stops working do you realize you are under attack. You can easily conceal your attack from the target and it’s very difficult to trace.”

Systems can be interfered with online or in the supply chain, since so much of the equipment and know how for the Iranian nuclear effort comes from outside sources. International defense experts believe both Israel and the United States have been trying to sabotage equipment before it gets delivered to the Iranians.

There have been several successes, according to Ben David. “The Iranians have experienced a number of malfunctions and unexplained breakdowns, all of which point to foreign interference in the supply chain for the program.”

In a far more conventional military attack in September 2007 unidentified aircraft destroyed a suspected nuclear reactor in the Syrian desert. Israel has never publicly admitted it carried out the raid.

Ben David told ABC News there was also a critical cyber warfare element in ensuring the success of the mission. He declined to talk about who had carried it out.

Syria has one of the region’s densest and best-armed air defense systems, and yet not one attacking plane was detected and not one defensive missile was ever fired,” he said.

Whatever success Israel’s cyber war against Iran has achieved, most experts admit that at best it will only damage and delay Iran’s progress towards nuclear capability. To destroy the program completely will require far more traditional weapons of war and attacks that will be far easier to trace.

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Obama’s grandmother to perform Muslim Hajj

FROM WND

‘Mama Sarah’ will go to Mecca for Islamic pilgrimage required by Quran

By Aaron Klein


Mama Sarah Obama

JERUSALEM – President Barack Obama’s paternal grandmother, Sarah Obama, will reportedly perform the Muslim Hajj pilgrimage this year along with her son Syeed Obama.

A private Kenyan television channel, quoted extensively by the Kenyan and Pakistani media, reported Sarah Obama and her son will also visit Dubai before going to Saudi Arabia for performing Hajj. The pair lives in Kenya.

The News, a newspaper in Dubai, confirmed the report. It quoted United Arab Emirates’ property tycoon Sulaiman Al Fahim as stating he will personally sponsor Sarah Obama’s trip after meeting the elderly Obama in Kenya last week and learning she had always wanted to perform the Hajj.

“I found out that she had not been to the Hajj and that she very much wants to go. As my own mother is no longer with us, our family has a spare place. So I invited her and she has accepted,” The News quoted Fahim as saying.

The Hajj is the largest annual pilgrimage in the world. The fifth pillar of Islam requires every able-bodied Muslim to travel to Mecca at least once in their life in a demonstration of solidarity with fellow Muslims and in an act of individual submission to Allah.

Obama’s grandmother, a Muslim known locally as “Mama Sarah,” lives in Kogelo, a tiny village near the Ugandan border. She was in Washington, D.C., in January for Obama’s swearing-in ceremony.

WND’s Jerome Corsi reports in the April issue of Whistleblower that Sarah Obama is also the woman who affirmed her elected grandson was born in Kenya, prompting doubts that Barack Obama is eligible to serve as president of the United States.

And though Obama supporters say Sarah Obama’s words were mistranslated, Corsi’s Whistleblower investigation revealed eyewitnesses and affadavits from a translator verifying Sarah Obama testified to being present at Barack Obama’s birth in Mombasa, Kenya.

Get the new Whistleblower magazine, called “YOUR PAPERS, PLEASE? Why dozens of lawsuits and millions of Americans want Barack Obama to prove he’s constitutionally qualified to be president.”

Whistleblower, Corsi writes, obtained an affidavit submitted by Rev. Kweli Shuhubia, the official Swahili translator for the Anabaptist Conference held annually in Kenya.

In the affidavit Shuhubia states that he visited Obama’s grandmother at her home to conduct a telephone conference interview with Bishop Ron McRae in the United States, in which the bishop asked Sarah Obama if her grandson was born in Kenya.

“Ms. Sarah Hussein Obama was very adamant that her grandson, Senator Barack Hussein Obama, was born in Kenya, and that she was present and witnessed his birth in Kenya, not the United States,” Shuhubia states in the affidavit. “During the conversation, Ms. Sarah Hussein Obama never changed her reply that she was indeed present when Senator Barack Obama was born in Kenya.”

Obama’s faith was a central part of his presidential campaign. He has repeatedly has denied he is a Muslim. His presidential campaign website contained the statement, “Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised as a Muslim, and is a committed Christian.”

But as WND has reported, public records in Indonesia listed Obama as a Muslim during his early years, and a number of childhood friends claimed to the media Obama was once a mosque-attending Muslim.

Obama’s campaign several times had wavered in response to reporters queries regarding the senator’s childhood faith.

Commenting on a Los Angeles Times report quoting a childhood friend stating Obama prayed in a mosque, Obama’s campaign released a statement explaining the senator “has never been a practicing Muslim.”

Widely distributed reports have noted that in January 1968 Obama was registered as a Muslim at Jakarta’s Roman Catholic Franciscus Assisi Primary School under the name Barry Soetoro. He was listed as an Indonesian citizen whose stepfather, listed on school documents as “L Soetoro Ma,” worked for the topography department of the Indonesian Army.

Catholic schools in Indonesia routinely accept non-Catholic students but exempt them from studying religion.

After attending the Assisi Primary School, Obama was enrolled “also as a Muslim, according to documents” in the Besuki Primary School, a public school in Jakarta.

Laotze blog, run by an American expatriate in Southeast Asia who visited the Besuki school, noted, “All Indonesian students are required to study religion at school, and a young ‘Barry Soetoro,’ being a Muslim, would have been required to study Islam daily in school. He would have been taught to read and write Arabic, to recite his prayers properly, to read and recite from the Quran and to study the laws of Islam.”

Indeed, in Obama’s autobiography, “Dreams From My Father,” he acknowledged studying the Quran and describes the public school as “a Muslim school.”

“In the Muslim school, the teacher wrote to tell mother I made faces during Quranic studies,” wrote Obama.

The Indonesian media have been flooded with accounts of Obama’s childhood Islamic studies, some describing him as a religious Muslim.

Speaking to the country’s Kaltim Post, Tine Hahiyary, who was principal of Obama’s school while he was enrolled there, said she recalls he studied the Quran in Arabic.

“At that time, I was not Barry’s teacher, but he is still in my memory,” claimed Tine, who is 80 years old.

The Kaltim Post said Obama’s teacher, named Hendri, had died.

“I remember that he studied mengaji (recitation of the Quran),” Tine said, according to an English translation by Loatze.

Mengaji, or the act of reading the Quran with its correct Arabic punctuation, is usually taught to more religious pupils and is not known as a secular study.

Also, Loatze documented the Indonesian daily Banjarmasin Post interviewed Rony Amir, an Obama classmate and Muslim, who described Obama as “previously quite religious in Islam.”

“We previously often asked him to the prayer room close to the house,” Amir said. “If he was wearing a sarong (waist fabric worn for religious or casual occasions) he looked funny.”

The Los Angeles Times, which sent a reporter to Jakarta, quoted Zulfin Adi, who identified himself as among Obama’s closest childhood friends, stating the presidential candidate prayed in a mosque, something Obama’s campaign claimed he never did.

“We prayed, but not really seriously, just following actions done by older people in the mosque,” said Adi. “But as kids, we loved to meet our friends and went to the mosque together and played.”

Friday prayers

Obama’s official campaign site contained a page titled “Obama has never been a Muslim, and is a committed Christian.” The page stated, “Obama never prayed in a mosque. He has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian who attends the United Church of Christ.”

But the campaign changed its tune when it issued a “practicing Muslim” clarification to the Los Angeles Times.

An article in March by the Chicago Tribune apparently disputed Adi’s statements to the L.A. paper. The Tribune caught up with Obama’s declared childhood friend, who now describes himself as only knowing Obama for a few months in 1970 when his family moved to the neighborhood. Adi said he was unsure about his recollections of Obama.

But the Tribune found Obama did attend mosque.

“Interviews with dozens of former classmates, teachers, neighbors and friends show that Obama was not a regular practicing Muslim when he was in Indonesia,” states the Tribune article.

It quotes Obama’s former neighbors and third-grade teacher recalling how the young Obama “occasionally followed his stepfather to the mosque for Friday prayers.”

Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, notes the Tribune article “cited by liberal blogs as refuting claims Obama is Muslim” actually implies Obama was an irregularly practicing Muslim and twice confirms Obama attended mosque services.

In an interview with the New York Times, Obama described the Muslim call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”

The Times’ Nicholos Kristof wrote Obama recited, “with a first-class [Arabic] accent,” the opening lines of the Muslim call to prayer.

The first few lines of the call to prayer state:

Allah is Supreme!
Allah is Supreme!
Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme!
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that Muhammad is his prophet …

Some attention also has been paid to Obama’s paternal side of the family, including his father and his brother, Roy.

Writing in a chapter of his book describing his 1992 wedding, Obama stated: “The person who made me proudest of all was Roy. Actually, now we call him Abongo, his Luo name, for two years ago he decided to reassert his African heritage. He converted to Islam and has sworn off pork and tobacco and alcohol.”

Still, Obama maintains he was raised by his Christian mother and repeatedly has labeled as “smears” several reports attempting to paint him as a Muslim.

“Let’s make clear what the facts are: I am a Christian. I have been sworn in with a Bible. I pledge allegiance [to the American flag] and lead the Pledge of Allegiance sometimes in the United States Senate when I’m presiding,” he told the Times of London earlier this year.

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Suppose the shoe thrower targeted Saddam

FROM WND

LARRY ELDER

The name: Muntadhar al-Zeidi – a new hero to many in the Muslim world.

President Bush – in a surprise, end-of-term visit to Iraq – held a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Al-Zeidi, an Iraqi “reporter,” shouted, “This is your farewell kiss, you dog,” and threw a shoe at Bush. The reporter quickly threw a second. The shoes missed their target only because an agile President Bush managed to duck. And with his typical self-deprecating humor, he later joked, “It was a size 10.”

“(Al-Zeidi’s) a rather nervous type,” al-Zeidi’s brother later said, “and above all hates violence and the bombing.” Al-Zeidi’s employer, Iraqi-owned but Egypt-based Al-Baghdadia television, refused to apologize for its reporter’s behavior, calling him a “proud Arab and an open-minded man.”

The violence-hating al-Zeidi, according to reports, displays a picture of the “revolutionary” Che Guevara on his wall. Cuban émigré Humberto Fontova, author of “Exposing the Real Che Guevara,” credits Guevara with 14,000 executions. Witnesses say this icon for many radicals personally murdered hundreds – including children and pregnant women. But we digress.

Many Iraqi reporters in the room apologized to the president. One journalist observed, “It was a reporter (emphasis added) who yanked (al-Zeidi) to the ground before Iraqi or American guards could reach him.”

Meanwhile, stateside, many in the Bush-hating news media seemed almost giddy – no doubt considering the shoe throwing a vindication of their own hostility to the war.

Chris Cuomo of ABC’s “Good Morning America” said: “Remember when the statue of Saddam Hussein was brought down? When it happened, all the people there started throwing shoes at it. … Why? Disrespect. It is a high form of insult.”

A CBS “Early Show” reporter said: “Mr. Bush’s message of progress was eclipsed in Baghdad by a sign of his unpopularity. … The symbolism wouldn’t have been lost on Iraqis, for whom shoes can be used to show extreme contempt, as with the footwear beaten against the statue of Saddam Hussein toppled by Marines five years ago.”

The Los Angeles Times wrote: “In the few seconds it took Iraqi journalist (Muntadhar al-Zeidi) to wing a pair of shoes at President Bush, the Middle East got its own version of Joe the Plumber. Just as Joe Wurzelbacher’s gripes to Barack Obama … catapulted him to fame, (al-Zeidi’s) burst of rage toward Bush … has made him a household name across the Middle East.”

“Joe the Plumber”?

Would that be the working-class citizen who politely questioned then-candidate Barack Obama about his spread-the-wealth philosophy? Or was the reference to the lost video of Joe the Plumber hurling a couple of pipe wrenches at Obama’s head while calling the now-president-elect a “dog”?

Let us pose a few questions.

Suppose one or both shoes hit their mark. What if President Bush had been struck in the eye and been seriously injured? After all, in the chaos, press secretary Dana Perino was injured when a microphone struck her in the eye. Would some in the media have considered it as comical had the reporter targeted Barack Obama? It is, after all, quite reasonable that the incoming president will be the subject of a greater than usual number of threats.

This raises another question – how did the Secret Service allow the man to get off not one, but two attacks? “I realized one of the reporters behind me was shouting and, in a way, reloading, with a second shoe,” wrote Adam Ashton of California’s Modesto Bee, the only American reporter in the room. “Off it went, just as fast as the first. I couldn’t believe he had time to get a second one off (emphasis added).”

Suppose the Iraqi reporter had thrown his shoes at Saddam Hussein.

During the dictator’s 24-year reign, Saddam killed an estimated 300,000 Iraqi citizens. Some place the number at more than a million. This means that, on the low end, over the past six years, a still-in-power Saddam would have killed 75,000 people. Since the March 2003 coalition invasion of Iraq, the Iraq Body Count – which many consider reliable – puts the number of violent Iraqi civilian deaths at between 89,000 and 98,000, a number that includes “insurgents” and civilians killed by them. But Iraq now has a fledgling multi-sectarian democratic government, a better economy – and a free press.

“All over central Iraq,” wrote the BBC mere months after Saddam Hussein’s fall, “independent radio and television stations are suddenly emerging to fill the void left by the destruction and collapse of the old national broadcaster. … Iraqis are enthusiastically embracing the possibilities of a free media after years of heavy censorship. Alongside these do-it-yourself radio and TV stations, dozens of newspapers representing every kind of political viewpoint are suddenly available.”

What of the fate of the shoe thrower in today’s Iraq? Eyewitness and NBC news producer Ghazi Balkiz put it this way: “(Under Saddam) any insult to the president or the president’s guests used to be punished by death.” So while al-Zeidi remains in custody, he faces no feet-first visit to the wood chipper.

Who knows? Maybe he’ll even get his shoes back.

‘U.S. to collapse within 2 decades’

FROM WND

Islamic cleric warns America facing destruction

An Islamic cleric from Lebanon is forecasting the destruction of the United States within 20 years, according to a new report from MEMRI Television.

The Middle East Media Research Institute has posted a video on its website quoting Lebanese Sunni Cleric Sheik Muhammad Abu Al-Qat, who appeared on Al-Manar TV in May.


An Islamic cleric from Lebanon says the United States won’t survive beyond two more decades

“Let me bring good tidings to the Muslims,” Al-Qat states. “Allah willing, the American empire will very soon collapse.”

He explained Americans now “object to any talk about the destruction of the state of Israel. … They are celebrating its 60th anniversary.”

Then came his prophecy: “We say that Allah willing, within 20 to 12 years, America will collapse. This won’t happen as a result of war. Not at all. Allah will send to America an American Gorbachev, from within. Gorbachev, who brought about the USSR collapse, was one of them.

“Everybody knows this story,” he said. “An American Gorbachev will surface in America, and he will destroy this empire.”

WND previously reported MEMRI’s documentation of Muslim leaders using a children’s television program to assure viewers it was proper for thieves to have their hands chopped off.

The report followed MEMRI’s feature of a Palestinian show that had President Bush “killed” and a children’s Mickey Mouse-lookalike being “martyred” for the Palestinian cause.

MEMRI is an independent nonprofit that provides translations of media reports from the Middle East and analysis.

The organization previously has documented a children’s TV show about Nahoul, the bee, weeping over his “martyred” family.

Hamas, which won a majority in parliament in January 2006 elections, officially is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. As WND reported, a prominent Hamas leader was captured on video boasting of using children, women and the elderly as human shields in its firefights with Israeli soldiers.

WND also reported Hamas launched a children’s website in 2002 that encourages kids to follow the example of terrorist suicide bombers.

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‘U.S. to collapse within 2 decades’

FROM WND

Islamic cleric warns America facing destruction

An Islamic cleric from Lebanon is forecasting the destruction of the United States within 20 years, according to a new report from MEMRI Television.

The Middle East Media Research Institute has posted a video on its website quoting Lebanese Sunni Cleric Sheik Muhammad Abu Al-Qat, who appeared on Al-Manar TV in May.


An Islamic cleric from Lebanon says the United States won’t survive beyond two more decades

“Let me bring good tidings to the Muslims,” Al-Qat states. “Allah willing, the American empire will very soon collapse.”

He explained Americans now “object to any talk about the destruction of the state of Israel. … They are celebrating its 60th anniversary.”

Then came his prophecy: “We say that Allah willing, within 20 to 12 years, America will collapse. This won’t happen as a result of war. Not at all. Allah will send to America an American Gorbachev, from within. Gorbachev, who brought about the USSR collapse, was one of them.

“Everybody knows this story,” he said. “An American Gorbachev will surface in America, and he will destroy this empire.”

WND previously reported MEMRI’s documentation of Muslim leaders using a children’s television program to assure viewers it was proper for thieves to have their hands chopped off.

The report followed MEMRI’s feature of a Palestinian show that had President Bush “killed” and a children’s Mickey Mouse-lookalike being “martyred” for the Palestinian cause.

MEMRI is an independent nonprofit that provides translations of media reports from the Middle East and analysis.

The organization previously has documented a children’s TV show about Nahoul, the bee, weeping over his “martyred” family.

Hamas, which won a majority in parliament in January 2006 elections, officially is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. As WND reported, a prominent Hamas leader was captured on video boasting of using children, women and the elderly as human shields in its firefights with Israeli soldiers.

WND also reported Hamas launched a children’s website in 2002 that encourages kids to follow the example of terrorist suicide bombers.

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Syria poised to invade Lebanon

FROM WND

10,000 soldiers massed along border

Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.


Syrian soldiers

New concerns are being raised by the possibility that Syria may launch troops into Lebanon by using a pretext of concern over assaults on a Lebanese faction sympathetic to the Syrian leadership, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

Confirmed reports reveal that there are some 10,000 Syrian special forces troops massed on the northern border of Lebanon.

A small Alawite faction near the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon, has been in repeated gun fights with Sunni militants. The area’s majority population is Sunni.

The Alawites are of the same tribe as Syrian President Bashar Assad. Most of Syria’s top security and military officials also are Alawite.

The concern is that Syria forcibly would annex the northern part of Lebanon to protect the Alawites, an offshoot of Shia Islam which is associated closely with the Syrian-supported Shiite Hezbollah. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah has been fighting the Sunnis in support of the Alawite minority in northern Lebanon.

The Alawites in Lebanon became influential while Syrian troops occupied Lebanon until 2005. The Syrian troops left following the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

The Syrian opposition, led by Hariri’s son, Saad Hariri, places the blame of the father’s assassination on the Syrian regime. The investigation to determine responsibility for Hariri’s assassination still is under way.

Saad Hariri heads the Sunni group that is fighting with the Alawites in Tripoli. In early September, Hariri, who heads the Sunni Future Movement in Lebanon, recently held talks with the head of the Alawite faction, Ali Eid.

Eid is pro-Syrian while Hariri’s Future Movement heads the anti-Syrian movement in Lebanon.

Tensions in Tripoli, however, have precluded any return to political stability in Lebanon despite efforts last May by Qatar to end a long power struggle between Hariri’s anti-Syrian coalition and the pro-Syrian Hezbollah.

The 10,000 Syrian special forces troops massed on the Syrian-Lebanese border are in positions on the northern Lebanese border in the hills overlooking the El-Kabir River, which forms the northern boundary of the two countries.

Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin is the premium, online intelligence news source edited and published by the founder of WND.

For the complete report and full immediate access to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, subscribe now.

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Ex-Muslim reveals secret goal of Islam

FROM WND

By Bob Unruh

Cites behavior of ‘moderate,’ ‘peaceful’ members of faith

An Egyptian who fled Islam and now lives under that religion’s sentence of death says the goal of global jihad simply is the takeover of the world.

The man, who now is a pastor in the U.S. and uses the pseudonym Muhammad Kemel, recently was interviewed by Joel Richardson, co-editor of “Why We Left Islam: Former Muslims Speak Out.”

Kemel said Islamic tradition teaches that those who leave Islam should be killed, and Muhammad taught, “Whoever leaves his religion (Islam) kill him.” And while the U.S. is not governed by Islam’s Shariah religious law, many fundamentalist Muslims do not see Shariah as being limited by national boundaries.

Kemel said the truth is that the events of Sept. 11, 2001, were the actions of those who were following the Quran closely.

“Sadly, I heard some of our American leaders and church pastors state that Islam is a peaceful religion, and what happened on 9/11 was done by fanatic Muslims,” Kemel said. “These individuals ignore the fact that the main goal of Islam is to rule the world.”

He said such instructions are clear in the Quran and Islam’s hadiths, or sayings that have been handed down from generation to generation.

“Muslims all over the world are working hard to achieve [the] goal of submission of the entire world to Islam. They are particularly committed to the indoctrination of youth in madrassas, special Islamic schools, particularly in Pakistan and Indonesia,” Kemel said.

He said the goal is to have at least 40 million Muslim youths who have memorized the entire Quran.

He said the “average peaceful Muslim and moderate western Muslim” are that way “because they have not studied the Quran.”

“If a Muslim begins to study the Quran, understands the true religion of Islam, and what true Islam requires a true Muslim to do, he will either reject Islam or he will become a Muslim committed to violence,” Kemel said.

Those who hijacked airplanes on 9/11 and killed thousands “are not extremists from a Quranic viewpoint; only a Western viewpoint,” he said.

Kemel told Richardson he was born into a prominent Muslim family in Egypt and considered himself dedicated to Islam. He said he discovered his own faith in Jesus Christ simply through reading the Bible.

Immediately, he was arrested and held for eight months in solitary confinement in jail.

“I was given no bed to sleep on. I slept on the rough cement floor with no cover, no blanket, even through the winter. I was not even supplied with the basic necessities other prisoners were given. … Soldiers came to the cell door and threatened me with death if I would not renounce my belief in Jesus Christ. The secret police warned my family, who eventually learned that I was in prison, not to help me,” he told Richardson.

Eventually, he was able to flee Egypt for the U.S., where he’s serving a Christian church.

Kemel said he senses a massive conflict developing between hard-line Islam and the rest of the world.

“It was reported by very trusted missionary sources in Algeria that 170,000 Muslims had the same dream of Jesus and many of them became Christians. … Thanks to God, sincere Muslims are rebuking the spiritual forces of darkness that are holding them captive, and that held me captive,” he said. “In addition, never witnessed in the past, many Muslim converts, despite the threats on their lives, are sharing their testimonies publicly through the media, through books such as ‘Why We Left Islam,’ YouTube and television. These are among the reasons why millions of Muslims are coming to know the Lord from many Islamic countries and nations.”

Kemel also said on the leading edge of the Islamic aggression are individuals such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who speaks frequently about the Imam Al-Mahdi, Islam’s coming messiah figure.

“Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is trying to use this Islamic theology to brainwash Iranian youth, to transform them into jihadists, those willing to kill in the name of Islam. By killing and creating chaos in the world, Ahmadinejad and others that hold this viewpoint believe that the coming of Imam Al-Mahdi can be hastened,” Kemel said.

“There is a fierce war that is raging between Islam and Christianity in the spiritual realm and this conflict has become more and more evident on the earth,” Kemel said. “I believe we will see a dramatic clash between Islam and most of the world sometime in the future, but that the power of Islam will ultimately fail. Jesus Christ and his church will be victorious.”

Richardson joined fellow Islamic expert Susan Crimp to create “Why We Left Islam: Former Muslims Speak Out.”

It includes gripping personal accounts of men and women who risked their lives by abandoning the Quran and talking about it at the risk of their own lives.

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