Saturday, April 19, 2008

HAMAS spokesman Ahmed Yousef’s Central Ohio connection

HAMAS spokesman Ahmed Yousef (left) and Columbus resident Anisa Abd El Fattah/Caroline Keeble (right) and one of the books they co-authored

One name that was in the national news this week was HAMAS spokesman Ahmed Yousef, the former director of the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR), which operated as the command for HAMAS in North America. Yousef fled the US to avoid prosecution and testifying in the Fawaz Damra trial in Cleveland, immediately reappearing in Gaza as the official HAMAS spokesman.

Yousef’s name was in the news for comments he made endorsing Barack Hussein Obama for president, as reported by Mosheh Oinounou of Fox News, “A HAMAS Problem for Obama”:

While Sen. Barack Obama sought to improve his relationship with the Jewish community today by meeting with leaders in Philadelphia, comments by a Hamas political adviser this weekend could potentially hurt the Democratic presidential candidate.

During an interview on WABC radio Sunday, top Hamas political adviser Ahmed Yousef said the terrorist group supports Obama’s foreign policy vision.

“We don’t mind — actually we like Mr. Obama. We hope he will (win) the election and I do believe he is like John Kennedy, great man with great principle, and he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community but not with domination and arrogance,” Yousef said in response to a question about the group’s willingness to meet with either of the Democratic presidential candidates.
What might be of interest to those of us in Central Ohio is that HAMAS spokesman Ahmed Yousef co-authored two books with would-be Columbus Board of Education candidate Anisa Abd El Fattah/Caroline Keeble. Those two books were The Agent and Al-Aqsa Intifada (under her given name, Caroline F. Keeble). Fattah/Keeble was the longtime director of public affairs for UASR, which again was the command for HAMAS in the US. There Yousef and Fattah/Keeble co-edited the UASR journal, the Middle East Affairs Journal.

Here’s a shot from one of the MEAJ issues showing their co-editorship:

I have also highlighted Yousef’s article in the table of contents, “Martyrdom Operations: Motivations, Preparations and Repercussions”. For the uninitiated, “martyrdom operations” are terrorist suicide bombings, and Yousef’s article is a defense of such.

After UASR closed down after being found liable for a $156 million federal court judgment in the death of an American teenager killed by HAMAS in Israel, Fattah/Keeble left the DC area and returned to Ohio, settling in Columbus. From here she has operated under the rubric of the National Association of Muslim American Women. In that capacity, she declared in a Sept. 15, 2007 letter to the editor in the Columbus Dispatch that all Israelis, including civilians, were legitimate target of terror attacks, “Israelis in Gaza aren’t civilians”.

It’s only appropriate then that the Dispatch published her co-author Ahmed Yousef’s op-ed last June (covered here, “A New Low for the Columbus Dispatch”).