In July 2007, seven key leaders of an Islamic charity known as the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) went on trial for charges that they had: (a) provided “material support and resources” to a foreign terrorist organization (namely Hamas); (b) engaged in money laundering; and (c) breached the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which prohibits transactions that threaten American national security. Along with the seven named defendants, the U.S. government released a list of approximately 300 “unindicted co-conspirators” and “joint venturers.” During the course of the HLF trial, many incriminating documents were entered into evidence. Perhaps the most significant of these was “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” by the Muslim Brotherhood operative Mohamed Akram. Federal investigators found Akram’s memo in the home of Ismael Elbarasse, a founder of the Dar Al-Hijrahmosque in Falls Church, Virginia, during a 2004 search. Elbarasse was a member of the Palestine Committee, which the Muslim Brotherhood had created to support Hamas in the United States.
Written sometime in 1987 but not formally published until May 22, 1991, Akram’s 18-page document listed the Brotherhood’s 29 likeminded “organizations of our friends” that shared the common goal of dismantling American institutions and turning the U.S. into a Muslim nation. These “friends” were identified by Akram and the Brotherhood as groups that could help convince Muslims “that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands … so that … God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions.”
Akram was well aware that in the U.S., it would be extremely difficult to promote Islam by means of terror attacks. Thus the “grand jihad” that he and his Brotherhood comrades envisioned was not a violent one involving bombings and shootings, but rather a stealth (or “soft”) jihad aiming to impose Islamic law (Sharia) over every region of the earth by incremental, non-confrontational means, such as working to “expand the observant Muslim base”; to “unif[y] and direc[t] Muslims’ efforts”; and to “present Islam as a civilization alternative.” At its heart, Akram’s document details a plan to conquer and Islamize the United States – not as an ultimate objective, but merely as a stepping stone toward the larger goal of one day creating “the global Islamic state.”