Matt Blunt

Mark S.

Dircclot,

James DPS

James F. Keathley Van Godsey Colonel, MSHP Dircctor, MlAc

MiAC ALERT November 4,2008
AMERICAN R,ADICAL ISLAMIC CONVERTS (ARtrCS)l
(note: much of this irfornatjon has beeil excerpled from a U.S. Depatunenl of HoDleland documeDl thal is UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY/LAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE)

Arrerican Radical Islamic Conveil (ARIC) js a new term that the U.S. Deparhnent ol llomeland Securit), ir usino to descr'be a loose knit group of militant Muslim converts olemtirg throughoul the United States and probably Missouri. Other countries also host individuals that shde the same or similar ideologies.

ARICs are potentially violert because they believe in a radical form of ls1am called Salafism, aud because they believe government and society are hostile to them or their beliefs. They adopt militant lslamism for a variety ofreasons, but generally harbor many of the same resentments towad the United Shtes as t}eir Muslim-bom counterpails based on: - U.S. foreign poticy in the Mjddle Easl, especially the Imq and AfghanistcD wrrs. - U.S. support for Israel. 'U.S. suppoil for authodtarian regimes in Arab and Muslim couDtries that they view as
rcpressive and

corupt.

Many ARICs consider their opposiiion to be part of a justifled defense of lslam, and tend to direct their anger toward 1oca1 symbols of authorit), and American power, including 1aw enforcement agencies, military bases, and other institutions they perceive as being oppressive to Muslims.
ARICS are not a unified grcup with a strategic set of goa1s, and usually do nol have regular meetirg times or places. However, they may meet wilh and share the ob.iectives of the imDediate communily, netwolt, mosque, or gang lo which they belong; often adopting tbe politics and cause of whomever introduced them to Isiam or of the militants with whorn the)' interact.

ARICs typically share a number of comnon characteristics, including: - They are generall), men but may inciude women and even children, especialll'
teenag9$. - Tlrey are usually in their twenties or early thirlies. - Most ARICs have criminal hislodes, but a numbet ate "notmal" college or university students. - Many have received trainiDg in the rnaflial arLs and in the use of firearms. - Most have advanced sldlls in computers and inlonnatjot lechnology
- Many have served in the U.S. militarl'. - Some have aligned themselves with al-Qaeda or other intematjollal Islamist militanl organizalions, or expressed supPofl for theil violent pirilosophies

While il is important to understand the threal Potential posed by ARICs, it is also importanl to keep in mind the differences between ARICS and tltose Arnericans who converl to Islam in a ge:ruine belief tbat

UNCLASSIFIED//LAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE (U//LES)

it will betrer their']ives. ARICs represent
States.

a

ninorjly

among AlnericaD

Muslin converts iD lbe Uniled

Groups with a kuown Missouri presence or having Missouri meflbers. and have aclopted a violent or sal^fist ideology are: Neu, Black Panther Parly Nation oflslam United Nuwaubian Nation oI Moo$ Nrtioial Blacl Uniled Front Voorrsh Scien.e Temple of Alner.cl Jarnaat al-Fuqra ( aka. Muslims of the Anericas)

ill which

some members

Ideology
Whiie they rnay nol have a single i.leology, Dany adhele to a militanl Sdafi variant of Sunni Islam. Salafism is a fun.lalnentalisl outlook thal shesses stl-iltgent personal, social. and religious purification, and is believed to emulate whal foilowers inleryret to be the early example of the Prophet Mohammed Salafis rejecr westem ideologies such as capilalism and social iustice. ancl have a lileral belief of the first four Quran and hadlth (sayings ol the Prophel). They advocate recreation of the golden age of the descendants of the Prophet, restoration of the caliphate (lslamic governnenl that leads aid unites the Muslim world), and creation of a stale governed by theil radical interpretatiou of sharia (Islamic law) These ilgid views appeal to those who believe in a radical form ofjihad, and a violent rcstoration of the caliphate. The Madrid tmin bombings in 2004 and the London tenor atlacks in 2005 werc cailied out by convefis to this type of extremism. Typicaliy, ARICS are not Muslim by bfth, but are U S citizens. legal U S residents' or illegal imrnjgrants who have embracecl salafism. The Srealest majorit)' ofARICs are African Americans' $'ith caucasians and Hispanics makng up the remainder. Salafism is also attractlve lo those who are seeldng a way out of personal crisis or lrying to overcome problems such as drug or alcohol abuse. African Americans in particular are drawn to Islam's notjon of spiritual "leversjon, " since it may confer a sense of Doral superiority as well as spirituai empowermeDt. As the descelldants of slaves flom pafis ofMuslim west Africa who adopted the chdstiail beliefs of thgir owners, many Aflican Amelicans today regard reverting to Islam to be an assertio! of their ethnic and cuhural ideDtit), as well as a symbolic break irom the legacy of slaver)' These lactors may explain wh1' 6any mnlastream African-American Muslim convefis, as well as many African-Amerjcan ARICs, also ideiltjfy with activisi Sroups such as the Neq, Black Pantber Party, the NalioD oI Islam, etc

Recruitment
Typical avenues utilized by Americans to convert to radical lslam are pdsons' mosques and student Muslim community cenlers, and the Intenet. Prisons can serye to connect militant lslam atrd crirniiality. The harsh pdson enviaonnrenl is conducjve to religious convercion, and tencls to have a profound influence in shqping aD extremisl outlook and tlle adopritn of miijtancl', q41ile the preachiilg of u'hal js linou'n as "Prison Islau" disLorts I(orailc teaching and prornoles vidence ancl gang loyallJ'. A close-kni1 community and sense olbrotherhood amoDg Muslim prisoners also provjdes a sense of secuilt)' and support-as well as much needed protection from prison gangs-Ior those who ma)'feel vulnerable lD additioD, Muslirn pdsoners often develop Detwotks lhar contil'ue {o.uppon lormel inmile\. UNCLASSIFTED//LAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE (U/1LES)

Prison mdicalization prilnadly occurs through anti U.S. sermons provided b)' contracl, \'olunleer, or stall imans, radlcalized inmates who gair religious iDfluence, and extrernisl medla Jam iyyat Ul-lslam As Sqheeh (JIS), an IslaDic leroljst grouP u'as slailed in 1 997 in zr Czrlifornla prisor bl, I(evin lames. James and three other JIS Drelrbers plotted 10 boDb U S govemmcnt and nilitary [a cilities, and Israeli institutions in the Los Angeles area in the fall ol 2005. ln an effort to convert its crirninal behavior into a foiln of service to ils radical lsiamisl ageDda: its nembers also robbed 1 1 gas slatiois in the Los Angeles area ir furtherance ol "the duty of JIS menbers to lalget for violent atlack any enemies of lslam." JaDes also authored a maniiesto known as the "JIS Protocol" as weil as other malerial thar outiines the group's ideological stance aild provides taclical and operational dilectjon, to its rnembers inside aDd oLilsrde ofprison. The docurnents, which contain lengthy criticism ofthe United Stales, call on JIS's followers to wage vlolentjihad against what James calls the "enemies" oflslam, or nonbelievers (jnfidels), including the United States. Moreover, according to local security officiaJs. JIS members were oonDected to a wider militant cuiture within the Califomia pdson syslem.
a 37 year old lllspanic u,ith a history ofpetty cljme and tjes b s[cet gangs. v"as rmpris2002 by U.S. authorities in Chicago on terodsrn charges rclated to his alleged association with tenorist groups both in the United Stales and abroad. He convefied to Islam after serving time in the Florida's Broward Counq, jail in I 992, aDd is bellcved to have been radicaiized before allegedly plottiDg to delonate .i dirl), bomb Jose

Padilh,

oned

iI

Richard Reid (the shoe bomber tvho failed) is thought lo have been radjcalized ir a British prison During the sentencing hearing he openly stated that he was an lslamic fundamentalist and declared himself an enemy of Uniled States aod was a foilower of Osama bin Laden and A]-Qaeda Based on a rccetrl estimates, numbers of islamic prisoners and parolees in Missouri range from I 4.000 to almost I 7.000, ancl while the exlenl oI radicalization or conversiot to ! Sllafi folm of Islam is un)ilown- the potential 1'or our prisonr kl produoe ARiCs is a matler of coDcern MoEques, Colleges and Utriversitl' Campuses are another avenue for the production of ARICs. While tbe majodty of Amgdcan mosques aDd lslamic studies centers do not fostel oI espouse radical lslamism, therc are mosques and Islamic studies canters whose imams have prornoted reli.rious and political militaDcy and the virrues of violence ir ciosed circles, if not openly Such imams likely count on a gtoup of dedjcated followerc 10 whom they can espouse their radical teachings iil the moi€ controlled enviionmenl of study groups or other social settings. WithiD these environments, cleics and other charismatic radicals are best able to influence convefts.

Mosques and Study Centers arc important places u'here radical eleme11ts can atlract converls and iDlroduce them to theil militant agendas. Although ladical preachers are often hjghlighte.i for $eir lole in inspiring militancy, aspiring militants do nol need to lool( to extremisl clerics for support. lll this sense, mosclues serve as social venues where militants can meet regularly and develop close bonds, often ln netwod(s completel)'separate from clerics and other worshippers. This is the case even in mainstreaD Muslim mosques, slnce mdicals may attend such a mosque desplte its naiusleam outlook One expeil, however, beiieves the potential for radicalization in American mosques is serious A December 2005 issue of the Jerusalem Posl, references a statement by Yehudil Barsfty, Director oI the

IINCI,ASSIFIED//LA1I/ ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE (U/iLES)

American Jewish Committee's Djvjsion on Middle Easl an.l Internalional Teflorisln Ms Barsky said over 80 percent oI the nosques in the unitecl states "have been ]'aclicttlizerl b), SaudJ money and urfluence.",

q,ho was a fun.lraiser Ior the 1ARA while a stu.lent and direclor of the MLrslim s[dent Association al colLrrnbiii utrjveNity in Missouil. I(halil was accuseil olpurchasing the cell pholes, which wele used b)' Osama Bin Laden issue the directive to Peryetrate the I 998 simuitaneous bornbirlgs of the US embassy in Kenya and Nairobi. A statemenl issued b)' John Snow, tile Secretar)' of the TreasLlry s^ys' "the internatioi;l offices oI IARA were providing direcr finanoial supporl to Usama bin Ladel, a] Qaeda, Hamas and other telTorisl grouPs.'

In 1989. The Islamic Anerican ReliefAgeDcy was direcll)' lirlked to Al Qaeda teraodsl Zayid Khalil

supporters and sympathizers of vjolenl Isl4mic extrcmism, in the post.9/ I I eDVi ronment of increased law-enforcement sciuiiny, have begun to use the Intenet for radicaiization, recruitmenl, and material suppoit activiries.

Internet, The Inteoet is also a venue for the radicalizalion of young, computer-sa\/vy Westemersboth male and female-s,ho identify with an lsiamic extremist ideology. Also the oldel genelation of

The Intemet allows participants to actively engage in exchaDging extremist propaganda aDd rhetoric inoniine, which may facilitaG the violelt tslamic extlemist cause. These online activities fultber ARIC doctrilation, create links between extremists located around tbe wolld, serve as spdngboards for futule teraorlst activities, aDd as ARIC recruitment channels.

jihad is justified ard even Many Muslims, ilcluding ARICS, believe the colcept of violent struggle or part of the duty of their adopted faith ARlCs also may view Vjolenl jihad as an idealistic adventure ihrough whicir they can $uppofl those they perceive to be oppressed b)' the United States ln some cases' this concept appears to have been a key-modv4ting faclor in tlleir decision to convefl to Islam
Eviclence exists that a1-Qaeda and ollter internatjonal terrodst olganizations are influencing the ARIC comDurity. Itr a May 5, 2007, videotape, Dr' Ayman d Zawal'ij tried to recruil Aftican-American Muslims and othem in the United States b)'comParing Malcolm X, and the Anerican civil rigbts movemert to al-Qaeda's struggle. A1-Zawahiri portrayed ir1-Qaeda as a movemeDt dliven by social injustice ancl as an anti-imperlalist force thal is intenl on assisting "al1 the weak and oPpressed in North America aDd Soutlt Ameilca,

ir

Africa, and Asia, ard all over the world

"

UNCLASSIFIED/ILAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITI\/E (U//LES)

ol "CovenaDl of Securjty," js an Islatric belief that dissuadcs followers frontactsoIviolenceagajnstthegoverrnnenLolthelrhonlelald,andprobablyilflrrenoesARICs
Tbe M usljrn concepl theor),stales thal a coverarll exists belween a hosl governnenl and Muslims who: I locntil) Ihcrnselves ir. Mu\l nl.. 2) Maintain official Westeo torns of identificatlon 1. Ar';cpt tovernnrenl hc'relits. 4) Legall), enter the host country.

This

as Musilms follos, these four practices. the llosl Sovernnent musl Suaranlee theil ilght 1o live wjthout fear oI anesl and lo practice thejl teligion. UDder this covenant, Muslins are prohibiled from waging vlolent jibad 4gainsl their hosts. However. ARICs and other radjc4l MIslilns may believe lhe covenanl has beeD breached by the U.S. Govennenl because 01 the PATRIOT Act and otiler domestic counteilefforism initiatives.

As long

Objectives and StrategY
ARICS likely base their largeting decisions on the prospect of infljcting mass casualties ln this regard, the), may emplo), sone of the largeting patterns exhibiled b)' inlernatioial lerorjst organizalions, such as al-Qaeda. This 1s a rnatler ol concarn because of al-Qaeda s abillty Lo inspire like{incled radicals with no dircct links to its organizatjon to act in thef hone countries. However, curenl indications are thal ARICS are hampered b), iimited tlainlilg, resources, and finance ald thus are more likely to plan and attempt modest atlacks that lie withiil tbeil operational capability. Aocordingl)', their targets ma)'inciude busy venues such as schools or mass transit facilities, which offer easy access to prospecllve targets as

well as to targets of symbolic significance, or they may perpetrate acts of violence against individuals who are perceived as enemjes or ivals. Theii abiljty to legitimately gain access to secure locations such as airports or govemmeDt faciljties may aiso influence their choice of targets

ARICS are not centered in one particular geograpiic location ol region ii the Unjted States, and it is ex' tremeiy difficult to ascefiain their strength. Since most ARICS are Ameilcan citizens or legai U S. rcsj deDts, their presetce is diflicult to pinpojnt. Evidence indicates that ARIC acti !j t) can occur in lr ajor urbar centers, in rural towns or regionally.

Trainine While ther.e is evjdence to suggesl thal some ARICS undelwent miljtar)' n ajning in camps in Afghanistan and other regiois during the I 990s, given incleased secudty awaleDess since 9/l I ald more strjct tncking measul.es, it is likel)'that ARlcs are morc careful regarding theil lavel patlerns aDd othel activities that may raise suspjcions.
ARICs have been involveci in small-scale training sessions conducLed inside the UDited States. These rypically inVolve groups of mer venturinS into secluded rural areas fol o\rellight camping trips to undeilake exercises such as paintbali conpetitions that simulate baltlefield scenarios. These sessions may also seNe to cultjvate a sense of camararJerie and purpose amoDg radicals, especialiy ir anticipation
sessions

of perpetraling aD attack.

ARICs are also likeJy to prize the physical fimess promoted by extremists or Al Qaeda related training manuals; accordingly, they are involved in martial arts and linless trailling Moreover, ARICS are ljkely to tap open-source literature, such as weste0 militar), and lav, etforcement field and traitring nanuais ailcl other material for information on fireams, laclics, explosives, etc.

UNCLASSIFIED//LAW ENFORCEN4ENT SENSITI\/E (UilLES)

Threats
Curaeni trends suggest thal ARICS will coillinue b pose a threat. The conlljcls it ijztcl aod Afghanistan and the failure ofradical lslaDjsts to topple regines in the Arab arld l\4uslim world thal are closell' aligDed to the United States and the Wesl arc luelirg a feelinS lor revenge againsl the United Slates These sentirnenls 4re likel),1o coDtinue to irlfluence the oullook ofARICS

Also, a successful att.lck against the urited states rctt4iDs I top pljorjty lor radical lslaDists, especjall), those who seelt inspiration fron Al-Qaeda. Siuce attackillg a lalget on U.S. soil is considered the uitjDaLe achievemeDt, ARICS are likel)' lo continue to l'y to find wa1's lo attack the United States

M&), ARICS continue to believe that the United States and the S/esl are engaged in a war againsl lslail, thus juslifyilg a vlolenl respolse in tbe rame of defendillg lslam However, as loDg as tlley have limjled
resources ARICS M,ill likel),conduct business through local acts oI violence

rAmerican

Radical lslamic Convers (ARlCs) 27 pp

U

S. Depafrment

ofHonelaDd Security

Helios Global lnc.

M6sswwm,M dm6wmmm&E@m @mmWsEs @@mm@tr
Dlvision of Drug & Crime Contol, P. O Box 568, Jetferson
Ci1y, MO 651 02_0568

Phone: 573-751
,nd

-6422

Toll Frce: 866-362-6422 Fax: 573-751-9950
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UNCLASSIFIED//LAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE (U//LES)

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