ZOA Praises Navy Seals For Rescue; Highlights Muslim “Piracy” As Latest Islamist Jihadist Action Against The West
April 14, 2009


“Monies Given To Jihad — At War With Christian Countries”



Washington, DC—Today the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) praised the US Navy SEALS for successfully rescuing Captain Richard Phillips, who was taken hostage by Muslim pirates off the coast of Somalia. This act of piracy, the sixth such attack over the past week, is but another example of the ongoing Islamist Jihad against the West and must be dealt with in the context of America’s larger regional and international war against Islamist terror networks.


The Somali pirates do not think of themselves as “pirates,” but instead consider themselves devout Muslims protecting Somalia against the infidel West. As one pirate put it, “We are Muslims. We are marines, coastguards — not pirates” (“Witness: ‘Hi, is that the Somali Pirates?’, Andrew Cawthorne, Reuters, April 12, 2009). These Muslim pirates have been praised for “protecting the coast against the enemies of Allah” by Sheikh Mukhtar Robow (“Abu Mansur”), a terrorist leader and spokesman of the radical Islamist and al-Qaeda linked “al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen” group (designated by the US State Department as a Global Terrorist Organization). While Sheikh Hassan Abdullah Hersi al-Turki leader of the al-Shabaab-linked “Mu’askar Ras Kamboni” (also designated by the US State Department as a terrorist) said: “I can say the pirates are part of the Mujahideen [religious fighters], because they are in a war with Christian countries who want to misuse the Somali coast” (for both see the local media report from “Radio Garowe”: “Somalia: Islamist rebel leaders hail pirate attacks,” Garoweonline.com, April 12, 2009).


According to a Reuters interview last summer with Andrew Mwangura, head of the East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme, “the entire Somali coastline is now under control of the Islamists…According to our information, the money they make from piracy and ransoms goes to support al-Shabaab activities onshore” (“Piracy ransoms funding Somalia insurgency,” Daniel Wallis, Reuters, August 24, 2008). In other words, the actions of Muslim pirates off the coast of Somalia help support the larger jihad taking place in East Africa.


Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in his March 19, 2009 audio tape praised the efforts of these insurgent Somali jihadist groups, saying that they are engaged in “a war between Islam and the international Crusade,” and he described the Somali jihadists as “one of the important armies in the Mujahid Islamic battalion, and are the first line of defense for the Islamic world in its southwestern part” (“Shaykh Usama Bin Laden: ‘Fight On, Champions of Somalia,’” audio transcript of March 19, tape obtained and translated by the NEFA Foundation).


On March 10, 2009, before the recent pirate attack pushed this issue to the front-pages, Somalia was already a national security concern. As part of the “Annual Threat Assessment of the Intelligence Community” Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair and the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Somalia and the surrounding region, as well as the rise of alQaeda and its allies in East Africa (see Blair’s statement). As Blair succinctly put it: “We judge the terrorist threat to US interests in East Africa, primarily from al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic extremists in Somalia and Kenya, will increase in the next year as alQaeda’s East Africa network continues to plot operations against US, Western, and local targets and the influence of the Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabaab grows.” Lt. Gen. Maples highlighted al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda’s long alliance and elaborated on the Intelligence Community’s concerns: “Cooperation among al-Qaeda inspired extremists throughout the region strengthens al-Qaeda’s foothold in Africa” (see Maples’ statement).  


Joshua E. London, ZOA Co-Director for Government Affairs and author of “Victory in Tripoli: How America’s War with the Barbary Pirates Established the U.S. Navy and Shaped a Nation” (John Wiley & Sons, September 2005) said: “I find it troubling that the media and the public at large seem not to recognize the Islamic nature of this piracy. These thugs are jihadists who see their actions as religiously sanctioned. The threat of Muslim piracy as jihad is nothing new. In my book, Victory in Tripoli about America’s war with Muslim Pirates in the Mediterranean under Presidents Jefferson and Madison, I pointed out the religious nature and legitimacy of what the pirates were doing. Of course, times change, and centuries of failure and military disadvantage have shifted the institution of Muslim piracy from being primarily about al-jihad fil-bahr, or the holy war at sea, to the more rewarding notion of al-jihad bi-al-mal, or the financial holy war (raising money for Muslims and jihad warriors).  Muslim pirates of centuries ago had very old-world aspirations and even more old-world tools and technology. Fundamentally however, little has changed about their motives or their strategy.                    


“What has changed, unfortunately, is the Western world. The United States seems to have lost the fortitude to fight these Muslim pirates effectively. Somalia has been a “failed” and lawless state since 1991, so it has become all too convenient to blame the intelligence establishment’s inability to point to clear, unambiguous and unimpeachable links or alliances among the pirates, tribal warlords, village chieftains, and known terror-networks. As long as the pirates are officially nothing more than organized criminal entrepreneurs making the most of Somalia’s lack of security and police infrastructure, this jihadist Muslim piracy will continue.


“This scourge of Muslim piracy cannot be defeated through defensive policing of the Gulf of Aden or the Indian Ocean or any other related half-measures, but only through the offensive use of force to crush the jihadists at sea and on land, back in their strongholds. The same policy debates took place in our history during the rapid development of the nascent American Republic, and then continued to plague presidents Washington and Adams. Even Thomas Jefferson’s parsimony got the better of him, and it was not until President Madison finished the job in 1815 that the Muslim pirates of their age ceased to threaten American interests. President Obama should not repeat the mistakes of the past, but should, instead, hunt down and destroy these pirates and the terror networks they aid and abet.”


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “The US Navy SEALS did an excellent job freeing Captain Phillips and killing three of these Muslim pirates with only three shots. This is exactly the right approach, and such force should be used against all of these pirates. Just because the pirates seek financial gain instead of seeking to inflict maximum death and destruction, should not blind us to their purpose: they are Muslim jihadists aiding and abetting the larger Islamist terror threat against the West. This is why they have earned the praise of notorious, US State Department designated, Islamist terrorist murderers like Sheikh Mukhtar Robow (aka “Abu Mansur”) and  Sheikh Hassan Abdullah Hersi al-Turki, and why the entire Somali jihadist program is so important to Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The money they blackmail in ransom from Westerners not only enriches these Muslim jihadist pirates and enables them to improve their weapons and equipment for the next strike, but it also helps fund the Islamist jihad on the ground. This is not simply a local, regional vigilante effort to stop illegal fishing or illegal toxic dumping – at least not according to the pirates and their radical Islamist Somali insurgent allies. We ignore the basic truth of these Islamist Jihadist Muslim pirates at our peril.”

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