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August 25, 2016

ISIS Suspect Worked for ICNA

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The FBI has arrested a former employee of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Erick Jamal Hendricks, for conspiring to set up a North Carolina cell for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a U.S.-designated terrorist group. ICNA—despite its radical roots as a subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood—is frequently treated as a credible source by some in the news media when reporting on Muslims in the United States.

According to the Charlotte Observer, Hendricks was arrested on Aug. 4, 2016 and charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization. Hendricks, an Arkansas-born convert to Islam, is alleged by federal prosecutors to have recruited ISIS sympathizers online for potential terrorist attacks in the U.S.

Hendricks has claimed that he is innocent and what is more, an opponent of radical Islam who was working as a paid informant for the FBI.

Although the Observer reported that Hendricks “had ties to a mosque in Virginia [Dar Al-Hijrah in Falls Church] that has been linked to an Islamic organization whose members have included terrorists,” the paper failed to note that Hendricks also has ties to the ICNA.

The Clarion Project, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organization that monitors Islamic extremism, pointed out that Hendricks “was the youth coordinator for a mosque that belongs to the ‘moderate’ Islamic Circle of North America.”

As CAMERA has noted (see, for example “ICNA’s Selective Outrage on Bangladesh Violence,” May 17, 2016), the ICNA is a non-profit organization that claims to represent the interests of Muslims in America, specifically those from South Asia. ICNA is an offshoot of the Islamic Circle of North America, a Muslim Brotherhood spin-off. The Egyptian-based, Sunni Brotherhood seeks to spread sharia (Islamic law) globally. ICNA is part of a network of groups, including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) that stemmed from the Brotherhood’s North American initiatives.

ICNA’s magazines have featured interviews with terrorist leaders in Pakistan and their conferences, such as one held in December 2009, have included calls to destroy Israel.

The organization has made its own objectives clear. According to the Washington D.C.-based Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), a 2010 ICNA Member’s Hand Book proclaimed that “the organization’s ultimate goal is ‘the Establishment of Islam’ as the sole basis of global society and governance.”

ICNA’s troubling history and objectives haven’t stopped news organizations from treating them as a credible source. In one example that was detailed in a June 3, 2015 CAMERA Snapshot (“Baltimore Sun Gives Islamic Circle a Free Pass”), The Baltimore Sun quoted from ICNA representatives for a story on charitable activities, but failed to provide readers with the group’s questionable history and associations. Subsequently, CAMERA provided Sun reporters and staff with a copy of The Islamic Society of North America: Active, Influential and Rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood, a Sept. 2012 CAMERA special report which included, among other things, information on the ICNA.

The Baltimore Sun did not carry the news of Hendricks’ arrest. The next time a news outlet references ICNA they would do well to note it.


Posted by SD at August 25, 2016 03:32 PM

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