JFK Plot Update: It’s the Ideology Stupid

10trini_2_190.jpgLook at this guy — he’s smiling, he’s from Trinidad, he plays the steel drums… He couldn’t possibly be bad could he?


This morning the New York Times downplays the significance of the Jamaat al Muslimeen tie to the plotters who wanted to blow up fuel lines and tanks at JFK. They characterize it as being a stretch to tie the group to Al Qaeda, and denote the group as more criminal thugs than Islamists wanting the Caliphate.

 Story here, emphasis is mine:

Denying that their group, Jamaat al Muslimeen, was tied to any plot to bomb a New York City airport, members this week portrayed themselves as both Islamists and islanders, devoted to God but also part of the multicultural mix that defines the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago.

Even as they did, the fiery imam who has long been the Jamaat’s public face ducked out the back of the mosque. That man, Yasin Abu Bakr, who once led a violent coup attempt here in 1990, faces trial next week for sedition and extortion and oversees a group with a reputation for thuggishness.

Those who have studied the group consider it a stretch to mention Jamaat al Muslimeen and Al Qaeda in the same breath. But United States authorities say it was an obvious place for the four suspects now accused of plotting to bomb Kennedy International Airport to turn when they were looking for Islamist support.

“They’re certainly a militant group with a history of criminality and violence,” said Chris Zambelis, a counterterrorism analyst with the Jamestown Foundation in Washington. “But their focus has been strictly on Trinidadian issues.

“I’d describe them as a local criminal gang,” he added, “not any kind of global terrorist organization. It’s a very radical fringe group, not at all representative of the Trinidadian Muslim community.”

The failed coup was to establish extreme shariat in Trinidad, and the tie between groups like this is not the lead group of the moment since they all jostle for supremacy of place, it’s the ideology. It goes back to the Muslim Brotherhood, and the ideology that unites these groups in cause if not always leadership. 

“Just a criminal gang, nothing here to worry about, nothing that’s common with Al Qaeda, so Americans shouldn’t be concerned” is the framing and message here, but the ideology is common to that followed by Al Qaeda — they want to establish the Caliphate, consider themselves and their leader a law in itself above all others. Here’s a couple of snips from their website to give you an idea:

Living in the form of Jamaah is necessary, the Jamaah is compulsory, for entering paradise holding of the Jamaah is necessary, Allah’s hand is on the Jamaah, leaving of the Jamaah is leaving Islam, the Jamaah is blessing, kill the person who leaves the Jamaah and the person who exits the Jamaah abandons the Jamaah.

To Oppose Jamaat-ul-Muslimeen is to leave Islam:

Now the question is that how would these pious believers gain a government, establish Islam and security? Would the believers have to do something for these things or would they gain it as a gift? Before getting Khilafah would the believers have a Jamaat or not? If there would be a Jamaat then would they have an Ameer or not? If there would be an Ameer then would his obedience be compulsory or not? Obviously for the attainment of Khilafah the believers would have to organize their Jamaat, would have to obey the Ameer and would have to struggle like Allah says:

Do Jihad as Jihad should be done.