Michael Carl is a veteran journalist with overseas military experience and experience as a political consultant. He also has two Master's Degrees, is a bi-vocational pastor and lives with his family in the Northeast United States.More ↓Less ↑
The attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, were planned by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist parties to punish the West for opposing Islam, according to former PLO operative and Muslim Brotherhood member-turned-terrorism analyst Walid Shoebat.
Shoebat says translations of Arabic documents show that radical Muslims are beginning an offensive against the West.
“The attacks on U.S. embassies had very little to do with the latest [anti-Muhammad] film and much more to do with the old story of the Muhammad cartoon and the failure of Muslims to prosecute internationally the culprits who drew the Muhammad cartoons. This will be another attempt to change the laws globally,” Shoebat said.
He said the attacks were a joint mission, and he cited an Arabic-language video to suggest that responsibility for the attacks could go all the way to the Egyptian leadership.
“This video brings us closer to answering that question. In fact, it not only points to the same attackers but possibly to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi himself,” Shoebat said.
Shoebat highlighted an exchange in the video that starts at the 1:15 mark, in which gunmen in Libya say, “Don’t shoot, we were sent by Morsi.”
The U.S. State Department declined to make any further comment when contacted by WND.
Shoebat said other documents, translated from Arabic, also show that high-ranking members of the Salafist Nour Party and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt planned the attacks to force constitutional changes in Egypt and concessions from the West.
The Nour Party issued a call to demonstrate in support of Wisam Abdul Waris of Dar Al-Hekma, or House of Wisdom, who has called for changes in the Egyptian constitution and international law that would make it illegal to criticize Islam, Shoebat said.
He said the Nour Party is the main culprit and Nour Party spokesman Nader Bakkar openly says members are after legal changes in Egypt and the world.
Bakkar has said his party aims for legal prosecution of anyone who harms Islam at home or abroad.
On his personal Facebook page, Bakkar referred to the role of the anti-Islam movie trailer, “Innocence of Muslims,” in changing laws, according to Shoebat:
After the movie that abused the prophet (peace be upon him), none will dare object to our determination to put an article in the constitution that criminalizes insults of the divine through portrayal or animation of the prophet, his companions, and all his house and mothers of the believers … this is the least we can do.
“Egypt has a Civil Strife Statute. In Egypt, if they don’t agree with what you have to say to the government, they can fine you or lock you up. We don’t have that in this country,” Whitehead said.
Whitehead called the protests against the odd film trailer, which is under 14 minutes, “personal grandstanding.”
“The key is the First Amendment is still alive,” he said. “The key to American freedom is protecting those you don’t agree with.”
Whitehead said the attackers want the U.S. to make concessions to the Muslims.
“There’s no doubt. Egypt would like the kind of laws here that they have and they want to impose them on the United States. We have the First Amendment that the Founding Fathers gave us to protect us from authoritarian regimes,” he said.
“Obama and his administration should not buckle,” Whitehead said.
Shoebat said the Nour Party clearly is responsible for the embassy attack in Cairo. Bakkar, who is scheduled to be in the United States in the coming days, should be questioned, he said.
“Make no mistake; the notion that these riots were spawned by an anti-Islam movie is completely and totally fallacious,” Shoebat said.
“It is not about the movie; it is about never letting a crisis go to waste,” he continued. “It is all about intimidating countries into implementing laws designed to extinguish free speech rights. The film is nothing more than a tool to be used to exploit politically correct inclinations.”
He said the attacks were intended to extract concessions from the U.S. and exalt militant Muslims.
The attacks were also part of a “support al-Qaida day,” he said, noting the Nour Party’s official Facebook page displays a photo of Osama bin Laden.
“To prove the point beyond a shadow of doubt that September the 11th was chosen without any connect to the film being released on that date, we can examine the sources as to when Egypt learned about the film,” Shoebat said.
On Wednesday, he noted, the Wall Street Journal reported that the video trailer that allegedly prompted the attacks had been scheduled to be shown in the church of controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones.
Shoebat said “the spark that elevated the video from the Internet’s backwater” appears to have been provided by Morris Sadek, an Egyptian Coptic activist living in the Washington, D.C., area.
Sadek has been an outspoken anti-Islamic activist in the U.S., where he runs a small group called the National American Coptic Assembly.
On Sept. 6, Sadek sent an email to journalists around the world promoting a Sept. 11 event held by Jones, who previously sparked deadly protests by burning a copy of the Quran.
In the email, Sadek included a link to the anti-Islam trailer.
Whitehead noted the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff even called Jones to ask him not to show the film clip at his church.
Shoebat added that a Dutch film was the original target of Nour Party ire.
Party spokesman Bakkar announced Sept. 9 that he was objecting to a Dutch film and that the Dutch were allowing Copts to move to Holland, Shoebat said.
Bakkar asserted the moves were an unacceptable interference in Egyptian affairs and an attempt to crack the unity of its citizens.
Bakkar stated through his personal Twitter account that the Dutch anti-Muslim film against Muhammad “could not pass unnoticed, without there being an adequate response.”
Shoebat said this adds to the argument that the Nour Party had failed to twist the arms of the Dutch, as well as the Germans and the English, to change their laws to respect Shariah.
So they then turned on the Americans and chose 9/11 for the date to protest, Shoebat said.
An Egyptian citizen in Cairo, whose identity has been withheld for security reasons, also said the American film would have gone largely unnoticed if the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood hadn’t brought it to the public’s attention.
“The past 48 hours have made the entire world aware of the existence of a movie that allegedly offends Muslims. Prior to the barbaric reaction of Muslims in Libya and Egypt, no one was aware of the existence of the movie,” the Cairo source said.
The source said bringing the American movie into the picture is an effort to insult America and to incite violence against Egypt’s Coptic community.
“It is now very clear that only the actions of the radical Islamists gave the film world wide publicity. The timing of the protests were planned to coincide with the anniversary of the 9/11 attack that killed thousands of Americans by radical Islamists,” the source said.
The Cairo resident said that to justify the attack on the U.S. Embassy, Egyptian media continued falsely reporting the film was made by Maurice Sadek, a Coptic Christian living in the U.S., along with Pastor Jones.
“The unfounded reporting was a willful act to promote incitement and resentment towards Egypt’s Coptic-Christian community,” the source said.
Shoebat said Egyptian military officers are part of the attempt to implicate the Copts.
On the Nour Party Facebook page, he noted, Egyptian officers posted messages of support, including photos of themselves in uniform, promising to join the demonstrations.
“Calls to terminate all the citizenships of Coptic Christians who live abroad litter the websites that support Nour Salfist party,” Shoebat said.
He noted a trend in Egypt for police officers to join “I am a cop with a beard,” an activist group that cooperated with the Voice of Wisdom and Nour Party to “express our anger” in front of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
The Facebook page has a photo calling Copts abroad “The Dogs of The Diaspora” and another photo featuring the chant, “Khaybar Khaybar O Jews, the army of Muhammad is coming for you,” Shoebat said.
Advertisements include posters encouraging demonstrations in front of the U.S. Embassy, he pointed out.
One ad states “Tuesday, on 9/11. More is planned on the 14th and this time in front of the Presidential Palace.”
Meanwhile, British Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary has responded to the anti-Islam trailer with a call for a demonstration in London to “defend the honor” of Muhammad.
“In light of the film ‘Innocence of Muslims’ insulting the final prophet, which is undoubtedly part of the global U.S. campaign to tarnish and spite Islam and Muslims, there will be a demonstration taking place tomorrow outside the American embassy in London to defend the honor of the messenger Muhammad,” Choudary said in his press release.