Taking the Synagogue Hostage-Taker’s Anti-Semitism Seriously

Jan. 17 2022

Shortly after the FBI killed Malik Faisal Akram and rescued the four hostages he was holding in a Colleyville, Texas synagogue, an agency spokesman made a baffling statement, reminiscent of Barack Obama’s notorious remark about those who would “randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli” apropos the bloody jihadist attack on a French kosher grocery store.

“We do believe,” said the FBI agent, that Akram “was singularly focused on one issue, and it was not specifically related to the Jewish community. But we are continuing to work to find motive.” Strictly speaking, the issue motivating Akram—the freeing of a convicted al-Qaeda terrorist—does not relate to the Jewish community in Colleyville or anywhere else. But in Akram’s mind the relationship to the Jewish community is straightforward, as he believed that the Jews control the U.S. government, and that flying to America and attacking the nearest synagogue would be the best way to get their attention. The same anti-Semitic delusion animated the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter. Lahav Harkov comments:

Perhaps at first glance, that issue, the release of Aafia Siddiqui, currently serving an 86-year prison sentence for attempting to murder American troops and FBI agents, does not seem to be “specifically related to the Jewish community.” But Siddiqui was a raving anti-Semite, and that information is readily available.

After Siddiqui was arrested in Afghanistan for her part in plotting al-Qaeda terrorist attacks in the U.S., UK, and Pakistan, shooting at U.S. Army troops as they detained her, she said the case against her was a Jewish conspiracy. Siddiqui dismissed her legal defense team because she said the lawyers were Jewish, and she demanded that jurors in the trial take DNA tests to make sure they were not Israeli or Zionists, in order “to be fair.”

She also wrote a letter to then-president Barack Obama telling him that Jews “have always back-stabbed everyone who has taken pity on them and made the ‘fatal’ error of giving them shelter.” . . . After her conviction, Siddiqui said: “This is a verdict coming from Israel and not from America. That’s where the anger belongs.”

One of the organizations that has been advocating Siddiqui’s release in recent weeks is the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). In November, CAIR’s Texas chapter and MPower Change, a Muslim activist group, hosted an online event titled “Injustice: Dr. Aafia and the Twenty-Year Legacy of America’s Wars.” In addition, CAIR San Francisco executive director Zahra Billoo told attendees during a speech she gave last November to “know your enemies” [and] “to pay attention to the Zionist synagogues.”

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Al Qaeda, Anti-Semitism, Barack Obama, CAIR

Russia’s Alliance with Hizballah Is Growing Stronger

Tehran’s ongoing cooperation with Moscow has recently garnered public attention because of the Kremlin’s use of Iranian arms against Ukraine, but it extends much further, including to the Islamic Republic’s Lebanese proxy, Hizballah. Aurora Ortega and Matthew Levitt explain:

Over the last few years, Russia has quietly extended its reach into Lebanon, seeking to cultivate cultural, economic, and military ties in Beirut as part of a strategy to expand Russian influence in the Middle East, while sidelining the U.S. and elevating Moscow’s role as a peacemaker.

Russia’s alliance with Hizballah was born out of the conflict in Syria, where Russian and Hizballah forces fought side-by-side in an alliance with the Assad regime. For years, this alliance appeared strictly limited to military activity in Syria, but in 2018, Hizballah and Russia began to engage in unprecedented joint sanctions-evasion activities. . . . In November 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury exposed a convoluted trade-based oil-smuggling sanctions-evasion scheme directed by Hizballah and [Iran].

The enhanced level of collaboration between Russia and Hizballah is not limited to sanctions evasion. In March 2021, Hizballah sent a delegation to Moscow, on its second-ever “diplomatic” visit to the country. Unlike its first visit a decade prior, which was enveloped in secrecy with no media exposure, this visit was well publicized. During their three days in Moscow, Hizballah representatives met with various Russian officials, including the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. . . . Just three months after this visit to Moscow, Hizballah received the Russian ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Rudakov in Beirut to discuss further collaboration on joint projects.

Read more at Royal United Services Institute

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Lebanon, Russia