WASHINGTON – Following President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a Texas-based Islamic cleric has posted a recorded prayer on his Facebook page calling for Israel’s destruction, along with “their allies, and those who assist them and those who allowed them into the abodes of the Muslims.”
While Sheikh Ramadan Elsabagh does not mention Trump’s Wednesday proclamation, the Investigative Project on Terrorism, which translated the message from Arabic, interprets it as a “clear reaction.”
“Our Lord. Help holy Palestine,” Elsabagh chanted. “… O Allah, be with your oppressed worshipers in Palestine, O Allah destroy the Zionists and their allies, and those who assist them and those who allowed them into the abodes of the Muslims. By your power, O mighty one, O mighty one, through your power and might, O Allah, deflect them with what you will, and however you will, for you are omnipotent, and with a response omnipotent.”
Elsabagh is listed as the head of the Islamic Services Foundation Quran Institute in Garland, Texas, and is featured as a Quran reader on many Internet sites. His YouTube pages have tens of thousands of views. His recitations are also featured in Google Play and iTunes.
“Oh Allah save [Al Aqsa] from the hands of the accursed violators, whom you have cursed in every book, and cursed them through every prophet,” he said in conclusion. “Oh Allah destroy them.”
The video drew several comments of “amen, amen,” according to a Facebook translation. One came from Said Abbasy, a New York-based Muslim Brotherhood supporter. Abbasy mourned the death of “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdul Rahman – considered the spiritual guide for the 1993 World Trade Center bombers who was convicted for a plot to attack other New York landmarks and assassinate high-profile targets, according to IPT.
“Oh God,” Abbasy wrote on Facebook, “take vengeance on those who wronged him.”
Garland was the scene of a terrorist attack May 3, 2015, representing the first actually claimed by ISIS, Though the attack on a free-speech rally organized by activist Pamela Geller resulted in the deaths of only the two terrorists, who were killed by local police, it sent shockwaves through the U.S.
More than 100 people were gathered inside and the event was ending when two terrorists, radicalized Islamic extremists, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, drove up to a checkpoint manned by a Garland police officer and a school security guard. The two terorrists opened fire with automatic rifles. A security guard, Bruce Joiner, was shot in the leg. Officer Greg Stevens returned fire with his handgun. A SWAT team on the scene shot both of the attackers in the head.
“This is standard Islamic belief,” Geller told WND about the imam’s public comments. “This imam may be reacting to President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but Muhammad says that Muslims will kill Jews and the Jews will hide behind trees, and the trees will cry out, ‘O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.’ Trump’s decision is smoking out some of these Jew-haters, but American authorities are eventually going to have to face the fact that this is the Islamic mainstream, not ‘extremism.’ And it is Islamic Jew-hatred as commanded in Islamic texts and teachings that fuels this holy war against the Jewish state.”
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Questions have remained about the role of the FBI in the case, which may have had advance knowledge of the attack.
The FBI has been under pressure from the U.S. Senate to explain the circumstances behind the terrorist attack. FBI Director James Comey told senators he would be willing to explain media reports that suggest the agency may have had advance knowledge of the attack. But he only said he would do that in a classified briefing, and no briefing has been set.
A report by “60 Minutes,” showed a remarkable level of involvement by the FBI on that day. An undercover agent was in the car immediately behind the two attackers, and was taking pictures of the scene just seconds before Simpson and Soofi opened fire. The undercover FBI agent had been in touch with Simpson for weeks prior to the shooting, and even texted him the message “Tear up Texas” weeks before the attack. And just after the pair began their attack, the undercover agent tried to flee the scene.