When Breitbart News attended the Dar Al Uloom Islamiyah mosque – where terrorist Syed Farook once attended – leaders seemed unwilling to answer some basic, straight forward questions about what they teach at their masjid. Do they subscribe to the idea of an Islamic caliphate? Do they believe that the punishment for apostasy from Islam is death? Answer came there none.
Now it is becoming more clear why the group may have been avoiding the requisite transparency that we rightly expect of religious and community institutions.
On the Breitbart News Daily radio programme, whistleblower and former Department of Homeland Security official Philip Haney pointed to Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) – a group known in Britain as the “Army of Darkness” that has used aggressive tactics to build “mega mosques” in my home country, and which has been linked to a number of high profile terrorist incidents.
WHO ARE TABLIGHI JAMAAT?
The links, some say, are coincidental. But this hardline Deobandi sect has found itself on the front lines of domestic terrorism cases on too many occasions now for anyone to leave this unchecked. Some of their members are also known for duplicitous behaviour – even by fellow Muslims – an understandable tactic when you consider that the group is militantly evangelical, and regards proselytising in the name of its interpretation of Islam as its highest calling.
The Christian Science Monitor reported this month that the group “began as a revivalist movement for a beleaguered Muslim minority in British-ruled India” and “has over the past century transformed into a global phenomenon that may have as many as 50 million followers”.
The group is known for eschewing political partisanship, much to the frustration of many of its co-religionists.
It is especially active in the United Kingdom, where it was recently banned from building a 300,000 square foot “mega mosque”.
The Telegraph’s Andrew Gilligan noted: “A number of terrorists have TJ connections. Abid Naseer, convicted this spring of plotting to attack the Arndale Centre in Manchester, was a member of the sect. Two of the 7/7 bombers, including their leader, Mohammed Siddique Khan, attended a TJ mosque. John Walker Lindh — an American who is serving a prison sentence for aiding the Taliban in Afghanistan — traveled with Tablighi preachers to Pakistan in 1998 to further his Islamic studies before joining the Taliban.”
And the concern over TJ isn’t just restricted to the counter-extremism community. One Imam at a mosque in Corona, near to San Bernardino, told Breitbart News that TJ was indeed “dangerous” especially for those who don’t know what they are getting involved in when attending such mosques. He warned that if Muslims went “unguided” into TJ mosques, they would find themselves on the receiving end of some extreme practices – though he maintained that the group’s leadership in Pakistan had tried for some time to put a lid on such activity.
“The Tablighi thing could get out of hand,” he told me. “[They] sleep in the mosque… they have… the beards,” he gestured towards his own hirsute chin, dragging his hand further down and widening his eyes. Clearly – there are tell tale signs of TJ membership.
And his concerns are confirmed by fellow experts.
Christian Science Monitor elaborates: “Their task is to travel lightly and spread the word to fellow Muslims – from village to village, mosque to mosque – so that more are brought into the fold. Armed only with backpacks, sleeping bags, and a simple message, Dawah activists are going door-to-door in more than 200 countries, including the United States”.
WHY HAS AMERICA FAILED TO MONITOR SUCH A SECT?
“Civil Rights and Civil Liberties shut the case down because we were focusing on individuals who belong to Tablighi Jamaat,” said Mr. Haney, a founding member of the Passenger Analysis Unit under Customs and Border Protection.
“We cross-checked all kinds of information. You name it. Visas, passports, travel patterns, family connections… anything to do within the universe of individuals coming in”.
He told Fox News: “We had thousands of organisations or individuals in the database and we tracked them as they moved in and out of the United States on the Visa Waver program. That’s what first brought the group to our attention. And as we developed a case, and started putting the pieces in place, we gained more evidence of their activities”.
The charge, aimed at the Obama administration, was so strong that Mr. Haney implied he and his department may have stopped San Bernardino’s terrorist attack if they weren’t hampered by political correctness.
“Either Syed would have been put on the no-fly list because association with that mosque, and/or the K-1 visa that his wife was given may have been denied because of his affiliation with a known organisation” .
The Middle East Forum think-tank reported in 2005: “The West’s misreading of Tablighi Jamaat actions and motives has serious implications for the war on terrorism.
Read more: Breitbart