For my inaugural article for the Military Gazette, I will address the on-going hoopla over the supposed batch of "terrorist training camps" supposedly scattered across the United States.
The following only applies to the supposed "Mahmoudberg", supposedly located off of County Road 3, near Sweeny (Brazoria County), TX. It does not apply in any way to any other of the 22 (or 35, depending on who's talking) supposed camps around the country -- but chances are very good that it does.
I have finally winkled my way through multiple retelling's of this tale, until I got to the core documents, located previously at the Clarion Project website (recovered via Archive.org, 10/05/2015) as well as the FOX News interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WubEFsN5pk8
I have come to the following points:
1. The Clarion Project article implies, via its tone, that the FBI documents were somehow surreptitiously obtained. This is disingenuous from the start, as the documents are all clearly declassified, and redacted. If you know what you are asking for, every agency of the Federal Government is required to release unclassified/declassified documents on whatever subject to the public, upon request under the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA). The only time to start smelling a rat is when they refuse to release said documents and force a court case to keep them sealed...of course, when they've already been declassified, reticence on their part is stupid, and is rarely done.
Actual, classified material is a completely different matter.
2. The pictures with this specific article are worse than useless: if three rusty .223 cases are "evidence" of "terrorist training activity", then every single person reading this is in a LOT of trouble.
3. Except for one document, which dates from 2003 (when it was reviewed, and subsequently declassified in a thoroughly normal and mundane "housecleaning" review in 2007, with no new information added, only redaction's of certain information to conceal the identities of persons investigated, but not prosecuted), all of the referenced documents date from the period 1991-1993.
4. The FBI's main concerns at the time were possible ties linking Jamaat-ul-Fuqra/Muslims Of America (MOA) to terrorist training centers in the US at that time, and the possibility of a potential connection to the Jamaat al Muslimeen group that had staged an abortive coup attempt in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad & Tobago in 1990. While evidence of various crimes in some of the California and New York investigations sufficient to warrant prosecutions was in fact uncovered by these investigations, there was not enough evidence to warrant mass arrests.
This is not speculation. The specific, verbatim information is openly and plainly stated in the FBI documents themselves.
5. The supposedly-damning videos are absolutely meaningless. Seriously -- I've seen more racy videos produced by the Michigan Militia. Like it or not, there is absolutely nothing in those videos that is illegal, in any way. At least, not in the United States.
6. The supposed 'smoking gun' refusal to disavow Gilani by the leaders of the "seven" compounds visited by the CAN is absolutely inconsistent with the tenets of Radical Islam. Under the principle of "taqiyya" (sometimes "idtirar"), Muslims are able to disavow their beliefs and leaders if the threat is great enough. This is an old Islamic principle, and is continually upheld in Islamic courts. What would have been surprising and suspicious was if they HAD disavowed him.
7. The lack of action by these supposed "terror centers" speaks volumes: 9/11 should have sparked an all-out uprising by this group...but it didn't. Over the course of the next 7 years, there was ample time and opportunity for a nascent terror cell to switch over to the attack -- yet none have done so. In fact, the only thing the United States has seen is "Lone Wolf" attacks by individuals (and occasionally one or two members of the same family) who have likely never even heard of Jaamat-ul-Furqua.
Because of the above seven points, I can only conclude the following:
A. At one time (1990-1993), US law enforcement believed that Jamaat-ul-Fuqra/MOA was engaged in criminal activities within the boundaries of the Continental United States. Investigations were opened, a few raids were conducted, and a few individuals were prosecuted for various crimes, few if any of which could be deemed "terrorist activity".
B. That, following 1993, no further action was deemed a necessary expenditure of resources.
C. That the investigation was closed - per the FBI documents quoted by the Clarion Project - in 2003, after a summary review of old potential-terrorism case-files in the aftermath of 9-11-2001.
D. That, in 2007, there being no further information, the file was redacted as appropriate and declassified, making it available for public release.
E. That too many people wanting to make a name for themselves used flimsy evidence to generate panic within the Patriot/TEA Party communities.
F. That no counter to this erroneous information is forthcoming from the United States Government, for the simple fact that it damages the credibility of the people and organizations who promote it, to the advantage of a Government worried about the resurrection of the Patriot Militia Movement.
........So please -- stop talking about this. It's bogus, and has been, from the start. This non-story is right up there with the "11,000 North Korean cavalrymen, each with two horses, staging for an invasion of the United States from the Yucatan Peninsula."
We have more important things to worry about -- like the CAIR, 100,000+ "refugees" with no security screening, and people trying to shoot up conventions of cartoonists.