The Investigative Project on Terrorism reports that Abdelhaleem Ashqar, a former colleague of Columbus resident and would-be Columbus Public School Board member Anisa Abd El Fattah/Caroline F. Keeble, was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison last week for refusing to testify about his role in HAMAS financing. Ashqar was formerly a research associate for the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR), which one convicted terrorist leader described as “the political command for HAMAS in the United States”. Anisa Abd El Fattah was the longtime director of public affairs and past president of the organization and served with Ashqar.
Ashqar’s conviction adds to the lenthy list of former UASR associates and former associates of Fattah’s who have been convicted of terrorism charges, fled the country to avoid prosecution, or have been listed by the US government as “Specially Designated Global Terrorists”.
Here’s a quick rundown of UASR’s greatest hits:
- UASR was found jointly liable in federal court in a $156 million judgment for the murder of Chicago teenager David Boim, who was gunned down by HAMAS gunmen while waiting for a bus in Israel in May 1996.
- UASR founder and former political director Mousa Abu Marzook is currently the political director for HAMAS in Damascus. The US government has listed Marzook as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
- UASR executive director Ahmed Yousef co-authored two books with Anisa Abd El Fattah/Caroline F. Keeble and is now the official spokesman for HAMAS. Yousef fled the US in 2005 to avoid prosecution in the Fawaz Damra trial.
- According to the Department of Justice’s trial brief in the Holy Land case, UASR “was designed for ideological research and development intended to promote a fundamentalist view of the Palestinian issue. The UASR was also involved in passing Hamas communiques to the United States-based Muslim Brotherhood community and relaying messages from that community back to Hamas.”
- UASR board member Abdurahman Alamoudi was convicted in 2004 and sentenced to 23 years in federal prison for working with Libyan intelligence to assassinate the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. The US Treasury Department estimated that Alamoudi had raised more than $1 million for al-Qaeda. Anisa Abd El Fattah served for 10 years as a consultant to Alamoudi and his American Muslim Council.
- A federal judge refused to allow Fawaz Damra attend a March 2004 UASR event while he was on trial on charges related to his terrorist fundraising due to the organization’s terrorist ties. Damra was deported in January 2007 for failing to disclose his ties to Palestinian Islamic Jihad in his citizenship application.
- Mohamed Nimer, a former UASR board member, is named in the amended RICO statement for the lawsuit Estate of John P. O’Neill, Sr., et al. v. Al Baraka, et al. as one of the “proven links to Islamic Terrorists.”