Despite many initial reports that the wife of Syed Farook, who is believed to have posted a pro-ISIS message on Facebook and quickly deleting it prior to the shooting, was the cause of his radicalization, now fingers are pointing to Farook’s mother. While investigating the Farooks’ apartment in Redlands, California, an MSNBC reporter uncovered a certificate of appreciation from the Islamic Circle of North America presented to Safia Farook, Syed’s mother.
What is the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)? This Muslim organization not only openly supports the establishment of a caliphate, they also have ties to a radical Pakistani group known as Jamaat-e-Islami. Some Pakistani newspapers even reported that the 9/11 mastermind, Khalid, Shaikh Mohammed, was offered refuge in the home of this Pakistani group’s leader. Although these group has never been named by officials as a source of Islamic radicalization in America, a number of their loyal followers have been involved with serious terrorist plots and attacks.
Two women, Noelle Velentzas and Asia Siddiqui, were arrested earlier this year after their plot to attack the city of New York using a similar technique to the Boston Marathon Bombers. Velentzas, the alleged planner of the plot, was tied to the ICNA, and even previously spoke at the group’s events. Another familiar face of ICNA events? Anwar al-Awlaki, a prominent recruiter for the terrorist group Al-Qaeda, who spoke at an ICNA event in Baltimore back in 2002. In 2009, five Americans who knew each other through this Muslim organization were charged in Pakistan with plans to attack American troops.
Many experts have also called attention to the ICNA’s radical organization. Yehudit Barsky, a terrorism expert at the American Jewish Committee claims the ICNA is similar to the Muslim Brotherhood that established the Taliban in the Middle East.
ICNA operates under the ideology of Abul A’la Maududi, founder of the Jamaat-e-Islami political party, who at one time stated true, devout Muslims “would be under an obligation to do their utmost to dislodge [non-Muslims] from political power and to make them live in subservience to the Islamic way of life.” A handbook dispersed to a sister wing of the ICNA stated what seems identical to the mission of the terrorist group, ISIS, “a united Islamic state, governed by an elected caliph in accordance with the laws of sharia.”
With all of these connections to terrorism and insistence on the Muslim people being superior to all others, why is this Muslim organization allowed to freely operate within our country? Despite the ICNA releasing a statement that they are “appalled” at the San Bernardino attacks, Americans have to wonder why they are encouraging such hate and radicalism in their own organization.