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Inventing terrorists: the nexus of intelligence and Islamophobia


critical studies on terrorismJournal abstract

The transatlantic Islamophobia industry, emboldened by US intelligence efforts to entrap Muslims, appears to have helped to increase permissible levels of Islamophobia across the US, as illustrated by the fiery anti-Muslim rhetoric during the 2016 presidential campaign. In this article, I first look at five key leaders of the Islamophobia industry who also claim to be “terrorism experts” and have links to US and Israeli intelligence. I then describe US law enforcement’s mass surveillance of Muslims and its invention of terrorists, including a map of the “successful terrorist prosecutions” claimed by the US Department of Justice, most of which were tried only as criminal cases. Finally, I explore in-depth the case against the Holy Land Foundation, a Muslim charity based in Texas that was run by Palestinian-Americans and targeted by both the state and the Islamophobia industry for its dubious links to “terrorism”, helping to legitimate the Bush W. Administration’s “War on Terror”. I argue that this nexus of intelligence and Islamophobia has empowered anti-Muslim voices that were formerly marginal.

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