UK Paying Muslim Moles for Terror Clues

Here is a tip, the United States is quietly doing the same thing.

3,000 terror suspects plotting to attack UK

MI5 and anti-terrorism police are monitoring more than 3,000 homegrown Islamist extremists willing to carry out attacks in Britain, security sources have told The Times.

MI5 pays UK Muslims to spy on terror suspects

MI5 is paying Muslim informants for controversial short-term spying missions to help avert terrorist attacks by homegrown Islamist extremists.

Individuals across the UK, including in Manchester and London, are being employed on temporary assignments to acquire intelligence on specific targets, according to sources within the Muslim community. One said that they knew of an informant recently paid £2,000 by the British security services to spy on activities relating to a mosque over a six-week period.

However, the use of payments to gather intelligence prompted warnings that the system risked producing information “corrupted” by the money on offer.

The initiative is being co-ordinated under the government’s official post-9/11 counter-terrorism strategy, specifically the strand known as Pursue, which has an official remit to “stop terrorist attacks in this country and against our interest overseas. This means detecting and investigating threats at the earliest possible stage.”

A source, not from Whitehall but with knowledge of the payments, said: “It’s been driven by the [intelligence] agencies, it’s a network of human resources across the country engaged to effectively spy on specific targets. It’s decent money.”

They did not divulge the number of informants receiving government funding or how much of the agency’s national security budget is allocated to such transactions. However, the use of payments to gather information prompted calls for caution from senior figures in the Muslim community, who warned that such transactions could produce tainted intelligence.

Salman Farsi, spokesman for the East London Mosque, the largest in the UK, said: “We want our national security protected but, as with everything, there needs to be due scrutiny and we need to ensure things are done properly.

“If there’s money on the table, where’s the scrutiny or the oversight to ensure whether someone has not just come up with some fabricated information? Money can corrupt.”

Farsi said that lessons should be learned from the government’s central counter-radicalisation programme, called Prevent, which was introduced following the 7 July bombings, but despite tens of millions of pounds spent and hundreds of initiatives has been criticised for failing to achieve its goals.

“When they started dishing out money, everyone was willing for a bit of money to dish the dirt, make up stuff. There’s good work to be done, but quite frankly you don’t need to send in informants to mosques to find out what’s going on. We need a fresh approach, genuine community engagement,” said Farsi.

Details of the network of informants paid by the security services follows the first live interview with a head of MI5 – director general Andrew Parker – in the 106-year history of the agency, an opportunity that he used to call for more up-to-date surveillance powers.

Days earlier, on Tuesday, the home secretary, Theresa May, met major internet and telecoms companies to seek their support for a new surveillance bill, prompting speculation that the government is preparing a choreographed campaign to revive its controversial snooper’s charter legislation.

Parker, the director-general of MI5, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, warned that terrorist plotting against Britain is at its most intense for three decades with six attempts foiled in the past 12 months.

Subsequent reports suggested MI5 and anti-terrorism officers are monitoring more than 3,000 Islamist extremists willing to carry out attacks in Britain. Numbers have escalated since 2013 with the rise of Islamic State in Syria, with more than 700 Britons believed to have joined jihadi groups in the region and 300 thought to have returned to Britain.

Scotland Yard last month revealed that suspects were being held at a rate of more than one a day while a record number of terrorism arrests were made in the past year, eclipsing the previous peak after the 7 July bombings.

Qatar Dictates Obama’s Policy on Syria

It is not just money, it is that Doha is the center, the core, the hub of all Middle East policy machinery to which the White House has deferred. Smitten and starry-eyed and out of the strategic lead, Obama and his State Department barely intersect with Qatar except to bow at commands and spectate during the enduring chess-game.


More information about Qatar is available on the Qatar Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


The United States established diplomatic relations with Qatar in 1972 following its independence from the United Kingdom. Bilateral relations are strong, with the United States and Qatar coordinating closely on a wide range of regional and global issues. . As a valuable partner to the United States, Qatar has played an influential role in the region through a period of great transformation. Together, we support progress, stability and prosperity in the region. The United States and Qatar also cooperate on security in the Persian Gulf region. Qatar hosts CENTCOM Forward Headquarters, and Qatar has supported North Atlantic Treaty Organization and U.S. military operations in the region. The United States welcomes hundreds of Qataris students in the United States every year, and six major U.S. universities have branch campuses in Qatar.

U.S. Assistance to Qatar

The United States provides no development assistance to Qatar.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States and Qatar have extensive economic ties. As Qatar’s largest foreign investor and its single largest source of imports, the United States has developed a robust trade relationship with Qatar, with over 120 U.S companies operating in country. For example, the U.S. is one of the major equipment suppliers for Qatar’s oil and gas industry, and U.S. companies have played a significant role in the development of the oil and gas sector and petrochemicals. U.S. exports to Qatar include aircraft, machinery, vehicles, optical and medical instruments, and agricultural products. U.S. imports from Qatar include liquefied natural gas, aluminum, fertilizers, and sulfur. The United States and Qatar have signed a trade and investment framework agreement.

Qatar’s Membership in International Organizations
Qatar and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Qatar is an observer to the Organization of American States and a member of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the Arab League.


2014 Foreign Policy: ABU DHABI and DOHA — Behind a glittering mall near Doha’s city center sits the quiet restaurant where Hossam used to run his Syrian rebel brigade. At the battalion’s peak in 2012 and 2013, he had 13,000 men under his control near the eastern city of Deir Ezzor. “Part of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), they are loyal to me,” he said over sweet tea and sugary pastries this spring. “I had a good team to fight.”

Hossam, a middle-aged Syrian expat, owns several restaurants throughout Doha, Qatar, catering mostly to the country’s upper crust. The food is excellent, and at night the tables are packed with well-dressed Qataris, Westerners, and Arabs. Some of his revenue still goes toward supporting brigades and civilians with humanitarian goods — blankets, food, even cigarettes.

He insists that he has stopped sending money to the battle, for now. His brigade’s funds came, at least in part, from Qatar, he says, under the discretion of then Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah. But the injection of cash was ad hoc: Dozens of other brigades like his received initial start-up funding, and only some continued to receive Qatari support as the months wore on. When the funds ran out in mid-2013, his fighters sought support elsewhere. “Money plays a big role in the FSA, and on that front, we didn’t have,” he explained.

Hossam is a peripheral figure in a vast Qatari network of Islamist-leaning proxies that spans former Syrian generals, Taliban insurgents, Somali Islamists, and Sudanese rebels. He left home in 1996 after more than a decade under pressure from the Syrian regime for his sympathy with the Muslim Brotherhood. Many of his friends were killed in a massacre of the group in Hama province in 1982 by then President Hafez al-Assad. He finally found refuge here in Qatar and built his business and contacts slowly. Mostly, he laid low; Doha used to be quite welcoming to the young President Bashar al-Assad and his elegant wife, who were often spotted in the high-end fashion boutiques before the revolt broke out in 2011.

When the Syrian war came and Qatar dropped Assad, Hossam joined an expanding pool of middlemen whom Doha called upon to carry out its foreign policy of supporting the Syrian opposition. Because there were no established rebels when the uprising started, Qatar backed the upstart plans of expats and businessmen who promised they could rally fighters and guns. Hossam, like many initial rebel backers, had planned to devote his own savings to supporting the opposition. Qatar’s donations made it possible to think bigger.

In recent months, Qatar’s Rolodex of middlemen like Hossam has proved both a blessing and a curse for the United States. On one hand, Washington hasn’t shied away from calling on Doha’s connections when it needs them: Qatar orchestrated the prisoner swap that saw U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl freed in exchange for five Taliban prisoners in Guantánamo Bay. And it ran the negotiations with al-Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, that freed American writer Peter Theo Curtis in August. “Done,” Qatari intelligence chief Ghanim Khalifa al-Kubaisi reportedly texted a contact — adding a thumbs-up emoticon — after the release was completed.

But that same Qatari network has also played a major role in destabilizing nearly every trouble spot in the region and in accelerating the growth of radical and jihadi factions. The results have ranged from bad to catastrophic in the countries that are the beneficiaries of Qatari aid: Libya is mired in a war between proxy-funded militias, Syria’s opposition has been overwhelmed by infighting and overtaken by extremists, and Hamas’s intransigence has arguably helped prolong the Gaza Strip’s humanitarian plight.

For years, U.S. officials have been willing to shrug off Doha’s proxy network — or even take advantage of it from time to time. Qatar’s neighbors, however, have not. Over the past year, fellow Gulf countries Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain have publicly rebuked Qatar for its support of political Islamists across the region.Over the past year, fellow Gulf countries Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain have publicly rebuked Qatar for its support of political Islamists across the region. These countries have threatened to close land borders or suspend Qatar’s membership in the regional Gulf Cooperation Council unless the country backs down. After nearly a year of pressure, the first sign of a Qatari concession came on Sept. 13, when seven senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood figures left Doha at the request of the Qatari government.

Both Qatar and its critics are working to ensure that Washington comes down on their side of the intra-Gulf dispute. At stake is the future political direction of the region — and their roles in guiding it.

Late last week, on Sept. 25, Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept documented how a Washington, D.C.-based firm retained by the United Arab Emirates made contacts with journalists that appear to have yielded articles detailing how fundraisers for groups such as al-Nusra Front and Hamas operate openly in Doha, Qatar’s capital. Foreign Policy also obtained documents from the Camstoll Group, run by former U.S. Treasury Department official Matthew Epstein. Although some of this open-source information is referred to in this article, the vast majority of the reporting comes from months of investigation in the region.

After several weeks of bad press, Qatar is also going on the offensive. “We don’t fund extremists,” Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour during his first interview as Qatar’s leader on Sept. 25. Just over a week earlier, Qatar instituted a new law to regulate charities and prevent them from engaging in politics. And on Sept. 15, Doha began a new six-month contract with Washington lobbying firm Portland PR Inc., which may include lobbying Congress and briefing journalists.

So far, Washington appears unwilling to confront Qatar directly. Aside from the U.S. Treasury Department, which last week designated a second Qatari citizen for supporting al Qaeda in Syria and elsewhere, no senior U.S. administration officials have publicly called out Doha for its troublesome clients.

The State Department said that nobody would be available to comment for this article, but released a fact sheet on Aug. 26 that describes Qatar as “a valuable partner to the United States” and credits it with “play[ing] an influential role in the region through a period of great transformation.”

The question is what the United States is prepared to do about Qatar if it fails to stem its citizens’ support for extremist groups, says Jean-Louis Bruguière, the former head of the EU and U.S. Treasury Department’s joint Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, now based in Paris. “The U.S. has the tools to monitor state and state-linked transfers to extremist groups. But intelligence is one thing and the other is how you react,” he told FP by phone. “What kind of political decision is the U.S. really able to make against states financing terrorism?”

Friends of Qatar

There is no more telling indication of Qatar’s ambitions than the fact that Doha taxi drivers are perpetually lost. With construction ongoing everywhere — part of a $100 billion infrastructure plan to prepare for hosting the 2022 World Cup — buildings open and projects come online so fast that the city’s cabbies can’t keep up.

On the world stage, Qatar sees its role as no less grandiose. Beneath the high-chandeliered ceilings of Doha’s five-star hotel lobbies, eager delegations from around the world make their case for support. Governments, political parties, companies, and rebel groups scurry in and out nervously, and then wait over hot tea to have their proposals considered by the relevant Qatari authorities. Which hotel the visitors stay in indicates their prospects for support. The Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton are old favorites; Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has stayed at the former, the Syrian opposition at the latter. The W Hotel is a posh newcomer, mostly housing eager European delegations seeking investment or natural gas. The Sheraton — one of Doha’s first hotels — is by now passé; that’s where top Darfuri rebels stayed during negotiations with the Sudanese government. Everyone wants into the network, because as one Syrian in Doha put it, “Qatar has money and Qatar can connect money.”

The winners in this hustle have often been those with the longest ties to this tiny, gas-rich state — a menagerie of leaders from the global Muslim Brotherhood. Doha was already becoming an extremist hub by the early 2000s, as government-funded think tanks and universities popped up filled with Islamist-minded thinkers. The government-funded Al Jazeera was growing across the region, offering positive media attention to Brotherhood figures across the Middle East, and many of the ruling family’s top advisors were Brotherhood-linked expatriates — men like the controversial Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who heads the International Union of Muslim Scholars from Doha.

What Doha saw in the Muslim Brotherhood was a combination of religiosity and efficacy that seemed parallel to its own. Moreover, the Qatari ruling family sought to differentiate itself from competing monarchies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), both of which frown upon political Islam as dangerously power-seeking. It was pragmatism, argues Salah Eddin Elzein, head of the Al Jazeera Center for Studies, a think tank associated with the Qatar-owned satellite network. “Islamists came [to the region] in the 1980s, and Qatar was trying to ally itself with the forces that it saw as those most likely to be the dominant forces for the future.”

But the global Muslim Brotherhood isn’t Qatar’s only — or even its most important — network. Nor does the royal family subscribe to the Brotherhood’s ideals per se. Often overlooked is a second strand that tows closer to Qatar’s official sympathies: the Salafi movement.

Emerging in the 1990s, activist Salafists merged the purist ideology of Saudi Arabia’s clerical establishment with the politicized goals of the Muslim Brotherhood. Some of these thinkers would become the first incarnations of al Qaeda, while others gained a strong foothold in liberated Kuwait, where the first activist Salafi political party was formed.

It was in Qatar that the activist Salafists found their benefactor. Over the last 15 years in particular, Doha has become a de facto operating hub for a deeply interconnected community of Salafists living in Qatar but also in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and elsewhere. Clerics have been hosted by ministries and called to talk for important events. Charities have touted the cause — charities like the Sheikh Eid bin Mohammad al Thani Charity, regulated by the Qatari Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, which is “probably the biggest and most influential activist Salafi-controlled relief organization in the world,” according to a recent report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

As early as 2003, the U.S. Congress was made aware that Qatari-based charities were helping move and launder money linked to al Qaeda, providing employment and documentation for key figures in the operation. At the same time, Qatar’s global influence was growing: State-backed Qatar Airways began an aircraft-buying spree in 2007 to fuel its vast expansion, linking the once far-flung emirate to every corner of the world. And by 2010, Al Jazeera had evolved into the Arab world’s most influential media operation, supported by a massive annual budget of $650 million.

Just as the Arab Spring invigorated opposition movements across the Middle East, so too did it electrify Qatar’s network of political clients.

Power projection by proxy
Qatar was the only Gulf country not to view with trepidation the changes that roiled the Arab world starting in 2011. Saudi Arabia was shaken by how quickly Washington dropped its decades-long ally in Egypt, Hosni Mubarak. Bahrain convulsed when its majority Shiite population took to the streets to demand greater political influence. The UAE joined Qatar in backing NATO strikes in Libya but was considerably more reticent about the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood there and in Egypt, fearing the group would invigorate Islamist-sympathizers among its own population.

Qatar, meanwhile, placed a long bet that political Islam was the next big thing that would pay off. “Qatar believes in two things. First, Doha doesn’t want the Saudis to be the major or only player in the Sunni region of the Middle East,” says Kuwaiti political scientist Abdullah al-Shayji. “Second, Qatar wants to have a role to play as a major power in the region.“

Yet mismatched with its grand ambitions, Qatar’s foreign policy faced a key limitation. The country is home to just under 300,000 nationals, and government decision-making is concentrated in the hands of just a few officials. Lacking their own infrastructure, Qatar sought to amplify its impact by working through its network of Brotherhood and Salafi allies.

“The Qataris usually work by identifying individuals who they think are ideologically on the same wavelength,” says Andreas Krieg, an assistant professor at King’s College London and an advisor to the Qatar Armed Forces. “There is no vetting process per se; it’s ‘these are people we can trust.’”

The first battlefield test of Qatar’s proxy chain was in Libya, where there was a broad regional consensus — as well as U.S. support — to oust then-leader Muammar al-Qaddafi. Qatar, together with the UAE, had signed on to Western airstrikes against the regime. But Doha also wanted to help build up rebel capacity on the ground.

“They had to literally go to their address book and say, ‘Who do we know in Libya?’” says Krieg. “This is how they coordinated the Libya operation.” Doha lined up a collection of businessmen, old Brotherhood friends, and ideologically aligned defectors, plying them with tens of millions of dollars and 20,000 tons of arms, the Wall Street Journal later estimated. After a months-long war, the rebels took Tripoli and Qaddafi was dead. Doha’s clients found themselves among the most powerful political brokers in the new Libya. And long after the NATO strikes had ended, some Qatari-backed militias continued to receive support, says Bruguière.

Amid the initial euphoria of the Arab Spring, many expected the nascent summer protests in Syria to quickly topple the Assad regime. Presidents in Tunisia and Egypt had lasted just weeks before resigning, after all, and the world had quickly rallied to oust a more persistent Qaddafi. By August, Washington was calling on Assad to step down as well. Not long thereafter, Qatar began its Syrian operation, modeled on the Libyan adventure.

Like the tendering of a contract, Doha issued a call for bidders to help with the regime’s overthrow. “When we started our battalion [in 2012], the Qataris said, ‘Send us a list of your members. Send us a list of what you want — the salaries and support needs,’” Hossam, the Syrian restaurant owner, remembers. He and dozens of other would-be rebel leaders submitted a pitch. He doesn’t say how much his brigade received, but says his own fundraising efforts for humanitarian goods have yielded hundreds of thousands of riyals.

Qatar’s friends abroad were also at work. Throughout 2012 and early 2013, activist Salafists in Kuwait teamed up with Syrian expatriates to build, fund, and supply extremist brigades that would eventually become groups such as al-Nusra Front and its close ally, Ahrar al-Sham. Using social media to tout their cause and a deep Rolodex of Kuwaiti business contacts, clerics and other prominent Kuwaiti Sunnis raised hundreds of millions of dollars for their clients.  Using social media to tout their cause and a deep Rolodex of Kuwaiti business contacts, clerics and other prominent Kuwaiti Sunnis raised hundreds of millions of dollars for their clients. They were able to work essentially unhindered thanks to Kuwait’s lax counterterrorism financing laws and its freedoms of association and speech.

One such donor was the young Kuwaiti Salafi cleric Hajjaj al-Ajmi, who on Aug. 6 was designated by the U.S. Treasury Department as a funder of terrorism for backing al-Nusra Front. Ajmi runs the so-called People’s Commission for the Support of the Syrian Revolution, many of whose campaign posters on Twitter spoke of charity work — giving food or medicine to the needy and displaced. But back in June 2012, Qatar’s Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs invited the cleric to speak in the coastal city of Al Khor, 30 miles outside Doha, where he argued that humanitarian support alone would never topple the Syrian regime.

“Did you know that bringing down Damascus would not cost more than $10 million?” he intoned, wagging his fingers from his chair in front of the old Syrian flag adopted by revolutionaries. “The priority is the support for the jihadists and arming them.”

In the months that followed, many of Ajmi’s campaigns in Kuwait ran parallel collections in Qatar. Donations could be placed through a representative named Mubarak al-Ajji, according to campaign posters, which affirm he is under Ajmi’s “supervision.” Ajji’s Twitter bio describes him as loving Sunni jihadists who hate “Shiites and infidels.” His timeline is flush with praise for Osama bin Laden.

One of Ajmi’s Kuwaiti colleagues, a cleric named Mohammad al-Owaihan, also used Qatar as a base, calling it his “second country” in a tweet in August. As recently as April, Owaihan solicited Qataris to help prepare fighters for battle on the Syrian coast. “Our jihad is a jihad of Money in Syria,” one poster read, offering contact numbers in Kuwait and Qatar.

These fundraising efforts were well-honed appeals, for example placing donors in special categories for donations of varying sizes. A “gold” gift was 10,000 Qatari riyals ($2,750), while a “silver” donation came in at 5,000 riyals. When particularly generous donations arrived, Ajji and others reported them on Twitter, for example posting photos of jewelry turned over to fund the cause.

Among the grateful rebel brigades that released videos thanking the Kuwaiti cleric Owaihan is Ahrar al-Sham, a Salafi group that counted an al Qaeda operative as one of its top commanders until he was killed this year: “O the kind people of Qatar, O people of the Gulf, your money has arrived,” an October 2013 video from the brigade proclaims. Ajmi boasted of his proximity to Ahrar al-Sham on Sept. 9 in a tweet showing the private online message the group’s leader sent him when the Kuwaiti cleric was designated and sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department.

All of these fundraising activities were orchestrated by individuals — not the government — as Qatar has noted in its defense in recent weeks. But this is also exactly the point: By relying on middlemen, Doha not only outsourced the work but also the liability of meddling. And even where it wasn’t involved directly, Qatar is not unaware of what’s going on in its network.

Many clerics in the activist Salafi movement have, like Ajmi, been outspoken in their backing of groups like al-Nusra Front in Syria — views that have found a welcome audience among government-backed organizations in Doha. Saudi cleric Mohammad al-Arefe, who has called for arming jihadists in Syria and Palestine, was invited by Qatar’s Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs in March 2012 and January 2014 to deliver a Friday sermon and a lecture at Qatar’s Grand Mosque. Kuwaiti Salafist Nabil al-Awadhy — a known fundraiser for groups close to al-Nusra Front — was the featured lecturer in Qatar at a Ramadan festival on July 4, 2014, hosted by a charity and aid group closely linked with the government.

Hostage to proxies

Qatar’s Arab Spring strategy began to fail in the same place it was conceived, amid the masses of protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. On July 3, 2013, demonstrators cheered on the Egyptian military’s ouster of Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi, whose government Qatar had backed to the tune of $5 billion. Within days, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait welcomed the new military-backed government with combined pledges of $13 billion in aid. Days later, Saudi Arabia seized control of backing the Syrian opposition by installing its preferred political leadership. By early fall, Libya was also falling into utter disarray, exemplified by the temporary kidnapping of the country’s prime minister in October 2013. Doha, which had just seen the ascension of a new 33-year-old emir, meekly vowed to focus on internal affairs.

“One of the things about Qatar’s foreign policy is the extent to which it has been a complete and total failure, almost an uninterrupted series of disasters,” says Hussein Ibish, a senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine. “Except it’s all by proxy, so nothing bad ever happens to Qatar.”

In both Libya and Syria, Qatar helped fund internationally backed umbrella groups — but it also channeled support to individuals and militias directly. In Libya, for example, one of Qatar’s main conduits to the rebels, the Doha-based cleric Ali al-Sallabi, clashed furiously with Mahmoud Jibril, a Western-backed leader who served as interim prime minister until he resigned in October 2011, warning of “chaos” as various factions battled for control. Today, that warning seems prescient as Libya is mired in an accelerating battle between various rival militias split along regional and ideological lines. The UAE, using U.S.-made jets and operating out of Egypt, has reportedly undertaken several rounds of airstrikes to roll back Qatari-funded Islamists since mid-August.

But it is in Syria where Qatar’s network most spectacularly misfired. Competition between Qatari and Saudi clients has rendered the political opposition toothless, perceived on the ground as a vassal of foreign powers. Meanwhile throughout 2012 and 2013, the proliferation of upstart rebel groups bred competition for funding. Some of Qatar’s clients became key brigades — groups such as Liwa al-Tawhid, whose leader unified rebels in a fractious fight to control Aleppo. Others like Hossam’s, however, simply folded or lingered weakly, focusing on their own ideals and goals.

In other words, there was no one winner. Qatar and other international powers haphazardly backed dozens of different brigades and let them fight it out for who could secure a greater share of the funding.Qatar and other international powers haphazardly backed dozens of different brigades and let them fight it out for who could secure a greater share of the funding. They had few incentives to cooperate on operations, let alone strategy. Nor did their various backers have any incentive to push them together, since this might erode their own influence over the rebels.

Qatar’s bidding system for support also quickly incentivized corruption, as middlemen began to exaggerate their abilities and contacts on the ground to donors in Doha. “Often, groups would submit maybe 3,000 names, but in reality there would be only 300 or 400 people,” says Hossam, the restaurant owner. “The extra money goes in the wrong way. They would do the same thing with operations. If the actual needs were $1 million, maybe they say $5 million. Then the other $4 million disappears.”

The disarray helped push fighters increasingly toward some of the groups that seemed to have a stronger command of their funding and their goals — groups such as al-Nusra Front and eventually the Islamic State, which split from the al Qaeda affiliate in early 2014. The last year has seen a string of defections from more moderate groups into these extremist elements. In December 2013, for example, former Deir Ezzor Free Syrian Army commander Saddam al-Jamal announced in a video that he was joining the Islamic State because “as days passed, we realized that [the FSA] was a project that was funded by foreign countries, especially Qatar,” he said.

It’s unlikely that the Qatari government — or any Gulf state — ever backed the Islamic State, an organization that today has in its cross-hairs all of the U.S.-allied monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula, and vice versa. But as in Jamal’s case, some of the individuals who benefited from Qatari funds did go on to join more radical brigades, taking their experience and arms with them.

“Qatar developed early on relations with rebel groups that later radicalized and joined the Salafi-jihadi universe, including Nusra and possibly [the Islamic State],” explains Emile Hokayem, senior fellow for Middle East security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “The evolving nature of the Syrian rebellion created often unintended and problematic if at times beneficial entanglements.”

Even as the Syrian opposition gravitated toward the extreme, Qatar argued in late 2012 that the world should worry about radicals later. “I am very much against excluding anyone at this stage, or bracketing them as terrorists, or bracketing them as al Qaeda,” Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah, then minister of state for foreign affairs, argued at a security conference in December of that year.

That sentiment was reiterated by Emir Tamim in his interview with CNN last week, arguing that it would be a “big mistake” to lump together all Islamist-leaning groups in Syria as extremists. Indeed, in all its recent statements rejecting extremism, Doha has mentioned the Islamic State but never al-Nusra Front by name.

Elzein, of the Al Jazeera Center for Studies, defends Qatar’s support for Islamists across the Middle East. He describes the spat between Doha and the other Gulf monarchies as a competition “between powers for the status quo and for change, where Qatar sided itself with change in the region.”

“Qatar’s foreign policy generated a lot of controversy, but perhaps that was part of its very nature,” he says. “When you try something new in a region known to be very conservative, it’s bound to bring that kind of criticism and misperception.”

And indeed, Qatar is far from the only Gulf country whose role in Syria and elsewhere has had negative repercussions. Saudi Arabia has also backed individuals and disparate rebel groups in Syria, and the UAE has sided with specific militias in Libya. In Egypt, a government strongly backed by both countries has overseen mass human rights abuses as it cracks down against the Muslim Brotherhood.

But it’s still hard to see what Qatar has changed for the better. Although its intentions to help the Syrian people were almost certainly genuine, a combination of haphazard methods and support for ideological proxies helped push the opposition toward both radicalization and disarray.
Washington and Doha
Qatar had such freedom to run its network for the last three years because Washington was looking the other way. In fact, in 2011, the United States gave Doha de facto free rein to do what it wasn’t willing to in the Middle East: intervene.

Libya was a case in point. When U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration began building a coalition for airstrikes in the spring of 2011, it took an approach later coined “leading from behind”: France and Britain took the lead in implementing the no-fly zone, while Qatar’s and the United Arab Emirates’ involvement demonstrated Arab support. When Doha stepped forward to help organize the rebels, they were broadly welcomed, former U.S. officials said in interviews with FP.

The same was true in Syria. Despite reticence among certain camps of the U.S. government, particularly those who had worked on Libya, it was still the least-worst option: Qatar, an ally of the United States, could help provide a regional solution to a conflict the White House had no interest in getting entangled in. Washington simply asked Doha not to send anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles to the rebels, which it occasionally did anyway.

On top of the political convenience was the logistical ease of working with the Qataris. Doha makes decisions quickly — and is willing to take risks. While the Saudis moved slowly getting arms into Syria, the Qataris sent planes to move an estimated 3,500 tons of military equipment in 2012 and 2013, reportedly with the CIA’s backing. “Their interagency process has about three people in it,” said one former U.S. official.

The same upsides meant that Washington turned to Doha when it sought to make contact with the Afghan Taliban in 2011 and 2012. The goal was to help smooth the exit of NATO troops from Afghanistan with a political solution. In on-and-off contacts, always made indirectly through the Qataris, the Taliban agreed to negotiate — but first they wanted an office. In June 2013, they got it: a large villa in the embassy district of Doha near a crowded traffic circle known as Rainbow Roundabout.

But Qatar’s advantages soon turned into liabilities. As Doha moved from crisis to crisis, the Qataris showed little ability to choose reliable proxies or to control them once resources had been pumped in. “My view is that Qatari policymaking was a bit amateur. When they got in, they showed no staying power,” the ex-U.S. official said.

In the Taliban case, Doha proved unable or unwilling to stop the Afghan militants from audaciously raising their flag over their new Qatari villa — an act of diplomatic symbolism that infuriated Kabul and scuppered talks before they began. All that could be salvaged from the process, it became clear a year later, was a prisoner exchange that traded U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five top Taliban commanders being held in Guantánamo Bay. Qatar gave its assurances that the five operatives would be under close watch in Doha — but given the country’s history, that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t influence the Afghan battlefield.

In Syria, meanwhile, it wasn’t until the Islamic State gained prominence that Washington sat up and took notice. In March, David S. Cohen, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, took the unprecedented step of calling out the Qataris in public for a “permissive terrorist financing environment.” Such stark criticism, counterterrorism experts say, is usually left for closed-door conversations. A public airing likely indicated Doha wasn’t responsive to Washington’s private requests.

This summer, the conflict between Israel and Hamas also shone fresh light on Qatar’s links to extremists in Palestine. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has been based in Doha since breaking with the Syrian regime in 2012, and Qatar has worked to rehabilitate the group politically and financially ever since. In October of that year, Qatar’s emir visited the Gaza Strip himself, pledging $400 million in aid.

Before and during the latest Gaza war, fellow Gulf states began to lobby in Washington to get tough with Qatar. In 2013, the UAE spent $14 million — more than any other country — on lobbying in Washington, according to data compiled by the Sunlight Foundation. The Camstoll Group, which has been linked to recent media coverage, has held a contract since 2012 that disclosure documents indicate can represent fees of up to $400,000 a month. In the first half of 2013, it earned $4.3 million for activities that disclosure documents describe as advising on matters of “illicit financial activities.” (Disclosure: Foreign Policy‘s PeaceGame program, presented in conjunction with the U.S. Institute of Peace, is underwritten in part by a grant from the UAE Embassy. All FP editorial content, however, is entirely independent.)

Heads have begun to in Washington. In a Sept. 9 hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives, witnesses and congressmen suggested measures that would dramatically recast the relationship between Washington and Doha. In testimony, Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, proposed measures that could “send shock waves through the Qatari financial system”: designating charities and individuals in Qatar, putting a hold on an $11 billion arms deal, and even opening an assessment into the cost of moving the U.S. military base away from the emirate.

“Excellent ideas,” hearing chairman Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) said in reply to the witnesses. “We ought to take them all and implement as many as we can.”

The U.S. Treasury Department is also stepping up efforts to crack down on al Qaeda and Islamic State funds; on Sept. 24, it designated several individuals with links to Qatar. In addition to a Qatari national alleged to have moved funds from Gulf donors to Afghanistan, the designations include Tariq Bin-Al-Tahar Bin Al Falih Al-Awni Al-Harzi, who gathered support from Qatar, including by arranging for the Islamic State “to receive approximately $2 million from a Qatar-based [Islamic State] financial facilitator, who required that Al-Harzi use the funds for military operations only,” the designation says.

Doha’s pushback in reply is just the latest iteration of a long-running bidding war among Gulf states for Washington’s favor. Qatar has increased its visibility in Washington in recent years, holding active contracts with lobbying groups Patton Boggs, Barbour Griffith and Rogers, and BGR Government Affairs. With its vast philanthropic arms, it has sponsored everything from student exchange programs to the congressional charity baseball game. Since the global financial crisis, various Qatari investment funds have also invested in property in Washington, Chicago, and elsewhere.
Qatar’s money runs even more obliquely as well, through the dozens of consultants, businessmen, and former officials whom it has hired at one point or another. Take the Soufan Group, for example, a well-regarded consultancy on counterterrorism and intelligence. Its founder, Ali Soufan, is also executive director of the Qatar International Academy for Security Studies (QIASS) in Doha, a government-funded center that offers several-week courses to government and military employees. Several other Soufan Group employees are also listed as employees there — an affiliation they rarely disclose in U.S. media interviews. Reached by telephone, Lila Ghosh, communications specialist at the group, told FP that the firm did not do any work on behalf of Qatar within the United States.

QIASS also appears to have given former Obama White House spokesman Robert Gibbs’s new PR group, the Incite Agency, one of its first jobs. Just weeks after it opened, Incite handled RSVPs for an event co-hosted by the Soufan Group and QIASS on “countering violent extremism.” The Incite Agency did not return repeated calls from FP seeking to clarify its relationship with QIASS.

But the biggest reason that Qatar is likely to remain in good favor with Washington isn’t money or influence, but necessity. As the United States ramps up a coalition against the Islamic State militants, it will need first and foremost its air base in Qatar, which is serving as the command center for operations — and then once again, the cover of Arab support.

With Syria and Iraq in chaos, both countries are now populated by a range of extremist actors whom Washington won’t want to negotiate with. Doha’s up for that job. Most recently, Qatar was called in to help negotiate the release of 45 U.N. peacekeepers taken captive by al-Nusra Front — and on Sept. 12 it announced that it had successfully won the soldiers’ release. Qatar insists that a ransom was not paid; perhaps the network of Doha-based funders gave the government a certain leverage over the group. Or it just may be that the al Qaeda affiliate wants something even more valuable.

“I think what Qatar can give them is legitimacy,” suggests Krieg. In al-Nusra Front’s official demands regarding the peacekeeper hostages, for example, it had asked to be taken off the U.N. sanctions list. “Nusra wants to be seen as a legitimate partner against [the Islamic State]; Qatar might be able to offer them a platform in the future,” Krieg says.

That’s essentially what Qatar has long offered its friends: a platform, with access to money, media, and political capital. Washington has so far played along, but the question is whether the United States is actually getting played.

More Facts on Migrants in Europe

SoS, John Kerry had a meeting with Hammond, the UK Foreign Minister. Among many topics, Syria was discussed:

Hammond: We have, of course, talked primarily this morning about the situation in Syria and the migration crisis that is affecting Europe, and we’ve talked about how to move forward with our partners in response to recent developments in Syria to tackle the growing threat from ISIL and to ensure that we’re joined up between our actions in Iraq and our actions in Syria.


With respect to Syria, obviously, we spent a significant amount of time and we covered a lot of territory today. As the foreign secretary said, we talked about Yemen, where we urged the parties to get to negotiations. We talked about Libya, where hope that the work of Bernardino Leon will bear fruit. But obviously, there are challenges, and we call on the house of representatives to return to that process and to recognize this is a critical moment. And ISIL and other extremist groups take advantage of a vacuum, and a vacuum is what is left if there is not an agreement. So we need for the sake of the 6 million citizens of Libya, where there is great opportunity and significant wealth available to be able to help that country bind its wounds and move forward. We hope that they will make the right choices in the days ahead.

With respect to Syria, the foreign secretary and I agreed completely on the urgency of nations coming together in order to resolve this war that has gone on for much too long. And it is clear that the challenge to continental Europe, but to everybody, of the migrant population of refugees seeking a better life cannot be properly addressed just by addressing the numbers of refugees coming into a country or providing more support to them; it has to be addressed by dealing with the root cause, which is the violence in Syria and the lack of hope and possibility of a future that so many people in that region feel as a consequence of the violence that’s taking place.

The full meeting readout is here.

*** Deeper facts:

In part: DailyMail, includes photo essay

Four out of five migrants are NOT from Syria: EU figures expose the ‘lie’ that the majority of refugees are fleeing war zone 

  • Some 44,000 of the 213,000 refugees who arrived in Europe were from Syria
  • A further 27,000 new arrivals on the continent came from Afghanistan
  • Britain received one in 30 of all the asylum claims made by new applicants
  • David Cameron has offered to take in 20,000 refugees but none from the EU

Only one in every five migrants claiming asylum in Europe is from Syria.

The EU logged 213,000 arrivals in April, May and June but only 44,000 of them were fleeing the Syrian civil war.

Campaigners and left-wing MPs have suggested the vast majority of migrants are from the war-torn state, accusing the Government of doing too little to help them.

‘This exposes the lie peddled in some quarters that vast numbers of those reaching Europe are from Syria,’ said David Davies, Tory MP for Monmouth. ‘Most people who are escaping the war will go to camps in Lebanon or Jordan.

‘Many of those who have opted to risk their lives to come to Europe have done so for economic reasons.’

The figures from Eurostat, the EU’s official statistical agency, show that migration from April to June was running at double the level of the same period in 2014.

The number of Afghans lodging asylum claims is up four-fold, from 6,300 to 27,000. Another 17,700 claims were made by Albanians, whose country is at peace.

A further 13,900 applicants came from Iraq which, like Syria, is being torn apart by the Islamic State terror group.

Sample individual stories: From Voice of America

One is a sixth-grader who braved walks through Balkan forests to join his brother in England; another fought the Taliban while serving Afghan forces in Helmand; a third spent years working in Turkey to cover a human smuggler’s fee.

They are Afghanistan’s latest diaspora, refugees of raging war and shrunken economic prospects, swept up in the largest flood of migrants Europe has seen in more than 70 years.

Until their numbers were eclipsed by refugees from the Syrian war last year, Afghanistan had produced more refugees than any other nation thanks to more than three decades of intractable conflict.

While the majority of prior Afghan refugees made new lives in Pakistan and Iran, United Nations data say nearly 80,000 Afghans are now officially seeking asylum in Europe — the highest rate in 20 years.

Their exodus has only increased as a resurgent Taliban wages its bloodiest offensive in 14 years.

Drawn by the promise of a better life, many tapped into their life’s savings and money from family already in Europe to pay smugglers to spirit them across six countries. The less well-off risked the journey alone.

VOA Afghan Service anchor Ahmad Fawad Lami traveled to Hungary and Serbia where he caught up with many Afghan refugees just as Austria briefly opened its border.

These are just a few of their stories. A must read.

Dawa Jaan Sahil

What Trump Should have Said During Townhall

In his own words, the Muslim Brother:

“I will stand with the Muslims should the politicall winds shift in an ugly direction”, page 261 of his book: The Audacity of Hope

Written by Mike Gallagher, an American radio host and conservative political commentator.  He is the host of The Mike Gallagher Show.

Many listeners have asked about the,  “Obama: It Was You,” essay that someone sent me. Here it is:

President Obama: This is why you didn’t go to France to show solidarity against the Muslim terrorists:

It was you who spoke these words at an Islamic dinner – “I am one of you.”

It was you who on ABC News referenced – “My Muslim faith.”

It was you who gave $100 million in U.S. taxpayer funds to re-build foreign mosques.

It was you who wrote that in the event of a conflict -“I will stand with the Muslims.”

It was you who assured the Egyptian Foreign Minister that – “I am a Muslim.”

It was you who bowed in submission before the Saudi King.

It was you who sat for 20 years in a Liberation Theology Church condemning Christianity and professing Marxism.

It was you who exempted Muslims from penalties under Obamacare that the rest of us have to pay.

It was you who purposefully omitted – “endowed by our Creator” – from your recitation of The Declaration Of Independence.

It was you who mocked the Bible and Jesus Christ’s Sermon On The Mount while repeatedly referring to the ‘HOLY’ Quran.

It was you who traveled the Islamic world denigrating the United States Of America.

It was you who instantly threw the support of your administration behind the building of the Ground Zero Victory mosque overlooking the hallowed crater of the World Trade Center.

It was you who refused to attend the National Prayer Breakfast, but hastened to host an Islamic prayer breakfast at the WH.

It was you who ordered Georgetown Univ. and Notre Dame to shroud all vestiges of Jesus Christ BEFORE you would agree to go there to speak, but in contrast, you have NEVER requested that the mosques you have visited adjust their decor.

It was you who appointed anti-Christian fanatics to your Czar Corps.

It was you who appointed rabid Islamists to Homeland Security.

It was you who said that NASA’s “foremost mission” was an outreach to Muslim communities.

It was you who as an Illinois Senator was the ONLY individual who would speak in favor of infanticide.

It was you who were the first President not to give a Christmas Greeting from the WH, and went so far as to hang photos of Chairman Mao on the WH tree.

It was you who curtailed the military tribunals of all Islamic terrorists.

It was you who refused to condemn the Ft. Hood killer as an Islamic terrorist.

It is you who has refused to speak-out concerning the horrific executions of women throughout the Muslim culture, but yet, have submitted Arizona to the UN for investigation of hypothetical human-rights abuses.

It was you who when queried in India refused to acknowledge the true extent of radical global Jihadists, and instead profusely praised Islam in a country that is 82% Hindu and the victim of numerous Islamic terrorists assaults.

It was you who funneled $900 Million in U.S. taxpayer dollars to Hamas.

It was you who ordered the USPS to honor the MUSLIM holiday with a new commemorative stamp.

It was you who directed our UK Embassy to conduct outreach to help “empower” the British Muslim community.

It was you who embraced the fanatical Muslim Brotherhood in your quest to overthrow the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak.

It was you who funded mandatory Arabic language and culture studies in Grammar schools across our country.

It is you who follows the Muslim custom of not wearing any form of jewelry during Ramadan.

It is you who departs for Hawaii over the Christmas season so as to avoid past criticism for NOT participating in seasonal WH religious events.

It was you who was un-characteristically quick to join the chorus of the Muslim Brotherhood to depose Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, formerly America’s strongest ally in North Africa; but, remain muted in your non-response to the Brotherhood led slaughter of Egyptian Christians.

It was you who appointed your chief adviser, Valerie Jarrett, an Iranian, who is a member of the Muslim Sisterhood, an off-shoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The above provides the basis for virtually everything Obama does. There are more examples, but one deadly fact, the Obama administration called the murders of Nidal Hassan ‘work place violence’ and never uttered a word at the beheading of the woman in Oklahoma by a Muslim.



A Clock or a Planted Operation?

So, has the ‘BLM’ Black Lives Matter operation been cast aside for yet another scheme? Or, is this kind of odd event going to be on top of the BLM and there are more to come?

If this is a clock, where is the time and how come the teacher did not recognize it as a clock?

The Real Story of #IStandWithAhmed

The hubbub surrounding Irving, Texas 14-year-old MacArthur High School student Ahmed Mohammed – the kid who brought a homemade clock-in-a-case that looked like a fake bomb to school – continues apace, with the President of the United States inviting him to the White House, and 2016 Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg tweeting out encouragement.

There’s only one problem: the whole story smells. It stinks of leftist exploitation.

Here’s what we know. On Monday, Mohammed brought a homemade clock to school. For those who don’t know the ins-and-outs of electronics, the device looked like a possible incendiary device. Ahmed told the media that he made the clock last weekend and brought it to school to show his engineering teacher. He explained to local news, “It was the first time I brought an invention to school to show a teacher.”

He didn’t explain that to police, however, according to the authorities. And he didn’t just show the device to his engineering teacher. In fact, the engineering teacher told him not to carry the device around after Mohammed showed him, according to The New York Times:

He said he took it to school on Monday to show an engineering teacher, who said it was nice but then told him he should not show the invention to other teachers. Later, Ahmed’s clock beeped during an English class, and after he revealed the device to the teacher, school officials notified the police, and Ahmed was interrogated by officers. “She thought it was a threat to her,” Ahmed told reporters Wednesday. “So it was really sad that she took a wrong impression of it.”

Why was the device in English class in the first place, especially after the engineering teacher told him not to show it around? When confronted by police and his English teacher, why didn’t Mohammed just tell them to talk to the engineering teacher? When police asked Ahmed what the device was and why he brought it to school, according to WFAA:

Officers said Ahmed was being “passive aggressive” in his answers to their questions, and didn’t have a “reasonable answer” as to what he was doing with the case. Investigators said the student told them that it was just a clock that he was messing around with. “We attempted to question the juvenile about what it was and he would simply only say it was a clock. He didn’t offer any explanation as to what it was for, why he created this device, why he brought it to school,” said James McLellan, Irving Police.

Here’s the statute Ahmed Mohammed authorities originally suspected Mohammed of violating (Texas Penal Code Section 46.08):

(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly manufactures, sells, purchases, transports, or possesses a hoax bomb with intent to use the hoax bomb to:

(1) make another believe that the hoax bomb is an explosive or incendiary device; or

(2) cause alarm or reaction of any type by an official of a public safety agency or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Nobody said Mohammed built an actual bomb. They suspected that he had wanted to frighten or alarm officials with a hoax-bomb. When they found out he didn’t intend to do that, they released him.

Given the limited evidence available, this is not far-fetched. Again, where was the engineering teacher to vouch for Mohammed’s story? Why didn’t Mohammed simply explain himself? The police said that initially, it was “not immediately evident” that the clock-in-a-case was a class experiment – perfectly plausible, given that Mohammed built the clock-in-a-case voluntarily, without assignment, and in conjunction with no science fair.

Chief Larry Boyd said simply and correctly, “You can’t take things like that to school” without explanation or assignment in today’s world without it receiving scrutiny.

And according to the cops, Ahmed was significantly more cooperative with friendly media than with the police who came to ask some simple questions.

That’s probably not a coincidence. Ahmed’s father, as Pamela Geller points out, is an anti-Islamophobia media gadfly. He routinely returns to Sudan to run for president; he has debated anti-Koran Florida pastor Terry Jones, partially in order to bring his children to Disneyworld. In 2011, the Washington Post wrote of him:

Elhassan, a native of the Sudan who is now an American citizen, likes to call himself a sheik. He wears a cleric’s flowing white robes and claims hundreds of followers throughout Egypt, Sudan and in the United States. But he is unknown as a scholar or holy man in the state he has called home for two decades. Religious leaders in Texas say they have never heard of Elhassan, including the imam at the mosque where he worships.

It’s no surprise that Ahmed Mohammed’s dad ran to the cameras at the first opportunity. It’s also no surprise that the terror-connected Council on American-Islamic Relations arrived to push the Islamophobia narrative immediately.

But there’s a long history of detaining science students for experiments administrators don’t understand. Homer Hickam, the subject of the movie October Sky, found himself in handcuffs during the Cold War for starting a forest fire with a rocket he built. And since September 11, such incidents have become more common. As someone who went to a Jewish high school based in Los Angeles and located next to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, police and security regularly evacuated our high school due to bomb threats. If one of the students had brought a device to school in this fashion, the student would have been detained and questioned – again, in an all-Jewish school.

And as Ian Tuttle of National Review has pointed out, America has become extra-paranoid of late: students have been suspended for gun-shaped Pop Tarts, cap guns, finger guns, and saying the word gun, among other grave offenses. And we don’t even need weapons to suspend students anymore: wearing an American flag at the wrong time or donning a Confederate flag t-shirt will do it.

So why, after the detention and release, did this story become a national one? Why did Obama jump on this story? Why did Hillary jump on this story? Where were they for then-16-year-old Kiera Wilmot of Florida to the White House after she was arrested and suspended in 2013 for bringing an experiment with toilet cleaner and aluminum foil to school? She was black but not Muslim, so it didn’t serve the narrative. They were MIA.

For years, the Obama administration has pushed the notion that American Muslims are in danger of Islamophobic backlash. But as of 2012, 62.4 percent of all anti-religious hate crimes targeted Jews; 11.6 percent targeted Muslims; as of 2013, anti-Jewish hate crimes represented 60.3 percent of all hate crimes, as opposed to just 13.7 percent for Muslims. That’s a major decline in anti-Islamic hate crimes since 2001, when 55.7 percent of hate crimes were anti-Jewish, and anti-Muslim hate crimes constituted 27.2 percent of all hate crimes.

So where, exactly, are all the invitations to Jewish students targeted in hate crime incidents?

They don’t exist, because they don’t help President Obama castigate America as xenophobic and backwards – and just as importantly, castigate Texans as particularly likely to don white hoods and go hunt down some Sufis.

The narrative reigns supreme. Ahmed Mohammed brought a clock-in-a-case that looked like a hoax bomb to the uninformed to school; his engineering teacher told him not to show it around; he showed it around; the police showed up, and he was allegedly uncooperative; they decided he was innocent and released him.

That’s not a national scandal. That’s local cops and teachers and administrators doing their jobs, decently but cautiously. Yet that won’t be what you hear. You’ll just hear that America hates Muslims, even as Americans self-righteously tweet out #IStandWithAhmed without hearing the facts.