Can ASIO ride it with Sheikh Omran?
September 2003. Melbourne Australia. Sheikh Mohamed Omran aka Abu Rayman Emir and Secretary–General of the Wahabi-Salaffi fundamentalist Islamic organization known as Ahl as Sunnah wal Jamah (The People of the Group), was in a state of rage.
Why didn’t the Australian Security and Intelligence Organization (ASIO) tell him, the most fundamental of all Islamic fundamentalists in Australia, that the media would be parked outside the door of his modest suburban home? And tramping over his front yard!
Kafir here, Kafir there- eve
rywhere! Why didn’t ASIO tell him that he would be linked in the media as an alleged Australian Al Qaeda contact. And media reports would link him to notorious terrorist Abu Dahdah. And his boyhood friend, the unjustly accused Sheikh Qatada, in London! Not to mention his good friends and associates in The Islamic Youth Movement in Sydney!
He felt betrayed. Worse: humiliated! Worse still; his honor was impugned! Shame! Even worse he was not in control. A power-challenge situation was developing!
He first met ASIO (was it eight or nine years ago-most likely eight) in Sydney. The Regional Director NSW no less. And before the Sydney Olympics. And now this! Spoiling his operational games with ASIO. Curse them!
A strange parallel program was running. While the Sheikh plunged into his media counter-offensive the Government and the AFP were briefing media and confirming reports claiming the Sheikh and his ‘friends’ were and had been ‘persons of interest’ (targets). Curious. Governments rarely comment or even acknowledge such matters – unless they are fully confident of the truth of their claims.
Still, he was proud of his other organization, The Islamic Information and Support Centre of Australia (IISCA), which enjoyed a great relationship with the Australian Government. Further, he was a good Australian. He was naturalized. He had lived in Australia for twenty years and even married an Australian woman. Now that was unusual! But then most of his terrorist friends had married Australians or become naturalized Australian citizens giving a new meaning to the term ‘opportunity targets’.
In the attendant publicity through September and October 2003, the Sheikh never referred to his movement’s pro-Jihad and anti-Semitic website www.iisca.org which features an essay by Sydney Lakemba based Sheikh Abdus Salaam Zoud of Masjid Ahlus-Sunnah calling for Islamic jihad and espousing murderous anti-Semitism and recommending links to notorious jihad web sites including Azzam publications. Sheikh Ziad incited believers to crush the Jews and the Crusaders:
‘Allah grant victory to the Mujaahideen (sic) fighting for your sake in every time and place, for you are able to do all things. Allah digrace (sic) the Jews and the crusaders. Crush them’.
The Sheikh is so confident of his mastery that his website features media articles about him! Articles which express fear and concern about his real intentions! Such confidence! The Sheikh makes hardened Australian journalists, even well briefed journalists, apprehensive, even nervous. Are they standing on sinking sand? Even the most skilled find him opaque. And ominous.