It’s Springtime for Muslims in Islamberg!

Mick Gregory

What is not coverd by the mainstream media this week?

How’s this, a radical Muslim paramilitary compound sets up camp in upper New York state?

By Paul L. Williams Ph.D., (author of THE DAY OF ISLAM)

Dr. Paul Williams at the entrance of Islamberg
Situated within a dense forest at the foothills of the Catskill Mountains on the outskirts of Hancock, New York, Islamberg is not an ideal place for a summer vacation unless, of course, you are an exponent of the Jihad or a fan of Osama bin Laden.
The 70 acre complex is surrounded with “No trespassing” signs; the rocky terrain is infested with rattlesnakes; and the woods are home to black bears, coyotes, wolves, and a few bobcats.

Muslim Lane
The entrance to the community is at the bottom of a very steep hill that is difficult to navigate even on a bright sunny day in May. The road, dubbed Muslim Lane, is unpaved and marred by deep crevices that have been created by torrential downpours. On a wintry day, few, save those with all terrain vehicles, could venture forth from the remote encampment.
A sentry post has been established at the base of the hill.

The sentry, at the time of this visit, is an African American dressed in Islamic garb – – a skull cap, a prayer shawl, and a loose fitting shalwat kameez. He instructs us to turn around and leave. “Our community is not open to visitors,” he says.

Behind the sentry and across a small stream stand dozens of inhabitants of the compound – – the men wearing skull caps and loose fitting tunics, the women in full burqa. They appear ready to deal with any unauthorized intruders.

The hillside is blighted by rusty trailers that appear to be without power or running water and a number of outhouses. The scent of raw sewage is in the air.

The place is even off limits to the local undertaker who says that he has delivered bodies to the complex but has never been granted entrance. “They come and take the bodies from my hearse. They won’t allow me to get past the sentry post. They say that they want to prepare the bodies for burial. But I never get the bodies back. I don’t know what’s going on there but I don’t think it’s legal.”

On the other side of the hill where few dare to go is a tiny village replete with a make-shift learning center (dubbed the “International Quranic Open University”); a trailer converted into a Laundromat; a small, green community center; a small and rather squalid grocery store; a newly constructed majid; over forty clapboard homes; and scores of additional trailers.

It is home to hundreds – – all in Islamic attire, and all African-Americans. Most drive late model SUVs with license plates from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The locals say that some work as tollbooth operators for the New York State Thruway, while others are employed at a credit card processing center that maintains confidential financial records.
While buzzing with activity during the week, the place becomes a virtual hive on weekends. The guest includes arrivals from the inner cities of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and, occasionally, white-robed dignitaries in Ray-Bans from the Middle East.

Venturing into the complex last summer, Douglas Hagmann, an intrepid investigator and director of the Northeast Intelligence Service, came upon a military training area at the eastern perimeter of the property. The area was equipped with ropes hanging from tall trees, wooden fences for scaling, a make-shift obstacle course, and a firing range. Hagmann said that the range appeared to have been in regular use.

Islamberg is not as benign as a Buddhist monastery or a Carmelite convent. Nearly every weekend, neighbors hear sounds of gunfire. Some, including a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, have heard the bang of small explosives. None of the neighbors wished to be identified for fear of “retaliation.” “We don’t even dare to slow down when we drive by,” one resident said. “They own the mountain and they know it and there is nothing we can do about it but move, and we can’t even do that. Who wants to buy a property near that?”

Islamberg’s Grocery Store

Islamberg’s Grocery Store
The complex serves to scare the bejeesus out of the local residents. “If you go there, you better wear body armor,” a customer at the Circle E Diner in Hancock said. “They have armed guards and if they shoot you, nobody will find your body.”
At Cousins, a watering hole in nearby Deposit, a barfly, who didn’t wish to be identified, said: “The place is dangerous. You can hear gunfire up there. I can’t understand why the FBI won’t shut it down.”

Islamberg is a branch of Muslims of the Americas Inc., a tax-exempt organization formed in 1980 by Pakistani cleric Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, who refers to himself as “the sixth Sultan Ul Faqr,” Gilani, has been directly linked by court documents to Jamaat ul-Fuqra or “community of the impoverished,” an organization that seeks to “purify” Islam through violence.

Though primarily based in Lahore, Pakistan, Jamaat ul-Fuqra has operational headquarters in New York and openly recruits through various social service organizations in the U.S., including the prison system. Members live in hamaats or compounds, such as Islamberg, where they agree to abide by the laws of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, which are considered to be above local, state and federal authority. Additional hamaats have been established in Hyattsville, Maryland; Red House, Virginia; Falls Church, Virginia; Macon, Georgia; York, South Carolina; Dover, Tennessee; Buena Vista, Colorado; Talihina, Oklahoma; Tulane Country, California; Commerce, California; and Onalaska, Washington. Others are being built, including an expansive facility in Sherman, Pennsylvania.
Before becoming a citizen of Islamberg or any of the other Fuqra compounds, the recruits – – primarily inner city black men who became converts in prison – – are compelled to sign an oath that reads: “I shall always hear and obey, and whenever given the command, I shall readily fight for Allah’s sake.”

In the past, thousands of members of the U.S. branches of Jamaat ul-Fuqra traveled to Pakistan for paramilitary training, but encampments, such as Islamberg, are now capable of providing book-camp training so raw recruits are no longer required to travel abroad amidst the increased scrutiny of post 9/11.

Over the years, numerous members of Jamaat ul-Fuqra have been convicted in US courts of such crimes as conspiracy to commit murder, firebombing, gun smuggling, and workers’ compensation fraud. Others remain leading suspects in criminal cases throughout the country, including ten unsolved assassinations and seventeen fire-bombings between 1979 and 1990.

The criminal charges against the group and the criminal convictions are not things of the past. In 2001, a resident of a California compound was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of a sheriff’s deputy; another was charged with gun-smuggling’ and twenty-four members of the Red House community were convicted of firearms violations.
By 2004 federal investigators uncovered evidence that linked both the DC “sniper killer” John Allen Muhammed and “Shoe Bomber” Richard Reid to the group and reports surfaced that Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was captured and beheaded in the process of attempting to obtain an interview with Sheikh Gilani in Pakistan.

Even though Jamaat ul-Fuqra has been involved in terror attacks and sundry criminal activities, recruited thousands of members from federal and state penal systems, and appears to be operating paramilitary facilities for militant Muslims, it remains to be placed on the official US Terror Watch List. On the contrary, it continues to operate, flourish, and expand as a legitimate nonprofit, tax-deductible charity.

(Paul Williams is the author of THE AL QAEDA CONNECTION and forthcoming THE DAY OF ISLAM. Lee Boyland is the author of THE RINGS OF ALLAH).

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Ishmael, Ismail, Ishmael Ax, Was the mass murderer motivated by Islam?

Mick Gregory

Days after the worst killing spree in U.S. history, ask yourself where you learned about the Virgina Tech rampage. Last on the list would be the newspaper. In my case, a co-worker told me from a Yahoo news update. I checked in with the Drudge Report and Wikipedia. Yes, Wikipedia is more than an encyclopedia now. Fox News and CNN went 48 hours with wall-to-wall coverage. Not even the major TV networks can keep up with today’s non-stop news.

Now we learn from Michael Savage and his producers that the package the killer sent to NBC News had a return address of A. Ishmael. Citizen Journalists are bringing out the unfiltered truth.

Cho Seung Hui wrote “Ishmael Ax” on his arm, signed his package to NBC “A. Ishmael,” and criticized Christianity in his video message. Do these things make him a jihadist?

The Meaning of Ismail Axe:
CNN is reporting that the words were “Ax Ishmael

Cho Seung-Hui allegedly mailed a package to NBC News containing “rambling, manifesto-like” written statement as well as several QuickTime video clips of himself talking to the camera, and photographs, such as the above.
The return address of the Express Mail package was from A. Ishmael reported by Michael Savage tonight.

Why did Cho send the package to NBC News? The answer seems simple: Seung wanted a mass news outlet, and NBC News has the most memorable address: 30 Rockefellar Plaza, New York City.

The Washington Post is reporting that the words Ismale Ax were tattooed on Cho’s arm, not written in pen. Further, the Post contends that the spelling was actually Ismale Ax.

For those of you still searching for meaning in this phrase “Ismail Ax,” written in red* ink on Cho Seung-Hui’s arm and also how he signed his infamous note, it starts with the story of Ibrahim’s Ax (Ibrahim = Abraham):
After making sure that nobody was left in town, Ibrahim went towards the temple armed with an axe. Statues of all shapes and sizes were sitting there adorned with decorations. Plates of food were offered to them, but the food was untouched. “Well, why do you not eat? The food is getting cold.” He said to the statues, joking. Then, with his axe, Ibrahim destroyed all the statues except one, the biggest of them all. He hung the axe around its neck and left.
–The Qur’an
Believing his people were guilty of idoltry, Ibrahim smashed their statues with an ax. Ismail (alternate spelling, Ishmael) was Ibrahim’s son. It was Ismail that Ibrahim wanted to sacrifice for Yahweh (with an ax or knife), and is a prophet in Islam. . .

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All at once, the world went searching for the meaning of “Ismail Ax.”

Those two words, written in red ink on one arm of Cho Seung-Hui, the 23-year-old Virginia Tech student suspected of the campus shooting spree, set off a massive Internet hunt by the public Tuesday for clues to what might have motivated the nation’s worst mass killings.

Almost as soon as the Chicago Tribune’s Web site reported that detail, which then was picked up by news organizations around the world, the blogosphere filled with theories about the possible meaning of “Ismail Ax.” Hundreds of bloggers speculated on a link to Islam or to literature; thousands offered their opinions and millions read the commentaries, according to Technorati.com.

And the newspaper business continues to print yesterday’s news, edited by gatekeepters to filter out any PC, offensive items.

Newspaper readers complained about the front page photo of Cho. About 30 to 40 readers complained to the Plain Dealer about its Page One frames of an armed Cho Seung-Hui acting menacingly. “If there’s a pattern to (the reaction) it’s principally women who are repulsed by” the images, says editor Doug Clifton. A Las Vegas Review-Journal reader says: “Shame on the Review-Journal. The media as a whole always displays murderers as heroes, just as they’ve always done. … No wonder the Columbine killers were (Cho’s) heroes.”

But there was a firstorm over the 24/7 endless loop of Cho on NBC News which received the tapes.
The problem is that NBC didn’t play the whole tape. What didnt’ the show? The Ishmael Axe connection? The pure hate of America?

Their editiing of the whole tape in fact polishes Cho’s image!

(Hey, potential mass murderers, NBC News is the place that will make you a hero!)

Lucky for the sick newspaper industry, the blood bath at Virginia Tech covered up the quarterly report of the newspaper industry blood bath.

Merrill Lynch analyst Lauren Rich Fine left this month after 19 years covering the newspaper industry. Last month, Thomas Weisel Partners analyst Christa Sober Quarles dropped coverage of newspaper stocks. John Morton has stopped writing his industry newsletter after 30 years, saying readers were sick of the bad news.

Financial nalysts who cover Gannett Co., Tribune Co. and New York Times Co. are having trouble attracting investors’ attention. U.S. newspapers’ daily circulation fell 30 percent to 43.7 million in September from 62.3 million in 1985, the Audit Bureau says, and the Standard and Poor’s 500 Publishing and Printing Index has dropped 14 percent since April 2004, while the S and P 500 Index gained 29 percent.

The companies probably will post an average 18 percent decline in per-share earnings, said Karl Choi, Fine’s New York- based replacement at Merrill Lynch. Some may tell analysts to reduce their estimates for the second quarter, John Janedis, an analyst at Wachovia Capital Markets LLC, wrote in a note to clients today.

Gannett, the largest U.S. newspaper publisher and owner of USA Today, will probably report a 1 percent drop in revenue, according to the average of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Chicago-based Tribune, the second-largest publisher, will report a 5 percent drop. New York Times will probably post a 14 percent decline, according to Bloomberg estimates.

Deteriorating Numbers

Thomas Weisel’s Sober Quarles, who is based in San Francisco, dropped newspapers to focus on Internet and advertising companies.

Morton and his partner Miles Grove produced their final newsletter on March 15. The issue, titled “Passing the Inflection Point,” said publishers had failed to adapt to the new demands of readers and advertisers.

“It’s pretty clear earnings will be under pressure for a time, probably two to five years,” Morton, who ran the publication out of Silver Spring, Maryland, said in an interview.

Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal

Dow Jones kicks off earnings season today and is likely to be among the few to generate sales growth. The New York-based publisher of the Wall Street Journal will post a 13 percent increase in revenue, according to Bloomberg estimates. The company benefited from the purchase of the remaining 50 percent of the Factiva database business, according to UBS AG analyst Brian Shipman, who is based in New York.

Tribune, publisher of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, reports April 19, a day later than first planned. Earlier this month, Tribune announced plans to go private by selling itself for $8.2 billion to billionaire Zell and the company’s employees. Spokesman Gary Weitman declined to comment on earnings. He said analyst coverage of the company had been “fairly steady” since 2000.

Falling Giant, Gannett

Gannett, based in McLean, Virginia, is expected to report a 12 percent drop in profit to $208 million, or 89 cents a share, based on the Bloomberg estimates. Publishing revenue will likely drop 2.3 percent, Shipman said.

Gannett reports April 19, the same day as Tribune and New York Times, publisher of the namesake newspaper and the Boston Globe. New York Times Co. profit probably fell 17 percent to $28.9 million, according to Bloomberg estimates.

McClatchy, which added 20 Knight Ridder Inc. newspapers in June, will probably report April 24 that revenue doubled. Profit probably fell 18 percent to $22.7 million, or 30 cents a share. Sacramento, California-based McClatchy publishes the Miami Herald and Charlotte Observer.
—By Leon Lazaroff of Bloomberg