Thursday, June 28, 2007

Getting By with the Help of His (Terrorist) Friends

Why is this man smiling, Mayor Coleman?

Following up on exclusive information we have provided here at the COAT blog, FrontPage Magazine today profiles our Columbus homeboy, Ahmad Al-Akhras, “Hometown Jihad: Getting By With a Little Help From His (Terrorist) Friends”. The article notes that Al-Akhras is one of Mayor Coleman’s closest associates, but also maintains some not-so-fashionable friendships. Say, with two Columbus men charged with being part of an active al-Qaeda cell. Or with his “longtime” friend, Cleveland imam Fawaz Damra, who was deported earlier this year after being convicted for being part of the terrorist Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization. And Ahmad Al-Akhras has been there to defend them all publicly.

The FrontPage article also links to our previous post, “A Smile and a Handshake for the Iranian Dictator”, where we observed Al-Akhras playing host last September with former Iranian dictator Ayatollah Khatami, who arrested and murdered pro-democracy student activists in 1999 after protest at the University of Tehran. Yes, Ahmad Al-Akhras keeps some very unusual friendships. You have to wonder who are the top 8 on his MySpace page?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A New Low for the Columbus Dispatch

“Hello, Columbus Dispatch? Yes, I’d like to speak to Mike Curtain. We have something for you.”

The Columbus Dispatch reached a new low this week when it reprinted an editorial on Friday by Ahmed Yousef, a political advisor to HAMAS terrorist-in-chief Ismail Haniyeh (the column was a reprint of a Washington Post editorial that appeared on Thursday). In his column for the Dispatch, Yousef does not accept responsibility for his group’s terrorist activities, but instead blames them on the US since we refused to acknowledge (or probably more accurately, fund), their group after the 2006 Palestinian elections. Ray Robinson has a good response to Yousef in today’s The American Thinker, “Engage with HAMAS?”.

Admittedly it was before my time, but I seriously doubt that the Dispatch was publishing editorials by Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels during WWII, so why exactly are they giving a full-page column length space to America’s enemies while our nation is engaged in a War on Terrorism? What’s next for the Dispatch, a weekly column by Osama bin Laden, or a partnership with Al-Jazeera?

If you have ever needed a reason to cancel your Dispatch subscription, this is it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Not in Our Name, Gov. Strickland

UPDATE: Thanks to RightAngle and Columbuser for the plugs. And a belated hat-tip to Ciaospirit.

UPDATE #2 (6/20): See the article today at FrontPage, “Not In Our Name, Gov. Strickland”.

On Sunday, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland spoke at the annual banquet for the Ohio chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). According to a press release on the CAIR website, Gov. Strickland said:

On behalf of all Ohioans, [my wife and I] appreciate your vision to promote justice and mutual understanding. We gather under CAIR-Ohio’s theme this year, ‘American Muslims: Connecting and Sharing,’ to do just that, to connect and share and get to know each other better.”
As mentioned in an article back in March, “CAIR’s Blood Money”, last year’s CAIR-OH banquet featured as its keynote speaker Siraj Wahhaj, who has been in the news recently for his fundraising efforts for Hilliard’s Sunrise Academy (see the previous post, “Sunrise Academy’s Fundraising Friends”).

One example of CAIR-OH’s efforts to “promote justice and mutual understanding” in the past year were the efforts last July of its Cincinnati chapter, whose spokeswoman, Karen Dabdoub, began inciting religious hatred of non-Muslims, accusing the Xenia, Ohio community of the dreaded “Islamophobia” following the bombing of a Muslim-owned restaurant in that community. She told the local news media:

‘Anytime an attack like this happens, the perception in the Arab and Muslim community is that it is ethnically or religiously motivated. Especially in the absence of perpetrators being caught by law enforcement, that’s the fear. Until that (motivation) is discovered, people speculate, rightly or wrongly.’
The problem was, of course, that several days before police discovered that the restaurant’s Jordanian-born owners were behind the multiple blasts. Even though Ms. Dabdoub was aware that non-Muslims were not behind the violence, she contiued to issue indictments against the non-Muslim community. CAIR-OH never apologized. (For more information on the incident, see the American Thinker article, “Kafir-phobia: Americans as Violent Anti-Muslim Bigots”.)

All that to say: You don’t speak for all Ohioans in your praise of CAIR-OH, Gov. Strickland. Many Muslims and non-Muslims alike are concerned about CAIR-OH’s extremist agenda, and you do nothing but buttress the public credibility of an organization whose sole purpose is to incite ethnic and religious hatred and create barriers to “promote justice and mutual understanding” between Muslims and non-Muslims. When you praise CAIR-OH, Governor, it is not in our name.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sunrise Academy’s Fundraising Friends

An article in today’s FrontPage Magazine, “Hometown Jihad: The School Gym that Terror Built”, reports that Sunrise Academy in Hilliard, the only full-time Islamic school in Central Ohio, has twice used Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and close personal friend of “Blind Shiekh” Omar Abdel-Rahman, for fundraisers for the school. Abdel-Rahman was convicted of “seditious conspiracy” and given a life sentence for his role in the 1993 WTC bombing, and Wahhaj appeared in court as a character witness for Abdel-Rahman’s defense.

In March 2006, Wahhaj was brought in to help raise funds for Sunrise Academy’s new sports complex, an event that was held at the Makoy Center in Hilliard (coincidentally, the same facility visited in November 2006 by First Lady Laura Bush for a fundraiser for Cong. Deborah Pryce). That fundraiser was apparently so successful that Wahhaj was brought in again by Sunrise Academy this past February to raise money for the school.

As the article this morning notes, this is not the first time that Wahhaj has been used by a Central Ohio organization for fundraising purposes. Back in March, it was reported (“CAIR’s Blood Money”) that CAIR-Ohio brought Wahhaj in June 2006 for another fundraiser, where he raised $100,000 for the “civil rights” organization, as noted in a CAIR press release.

Today’s article offers quotes by Wahhaj to give readers an idea of Wahhaj’s positions. In one he calls for Muslims to takeover America:

“[I]f only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate. If we were united and strong, we would elect our own emir and give allegiance to him. Take my word if eight million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us.”
In another, he outlines his vision for an Islamic supremacist society:

“I have a vision in America, Muslims owning property all over, Muslim businesses, factories, halal meat, supermarkets, all these buildings owned by Muslims. Can you see the vision, can you see the Newark International Airport and a John Kennedy Airport and La Guardia having Muslim fleets of planes, Muslim pilots. Can you see our trucks rolling down the highways, Muslim names. Can you imagine walking down the streets of Teaneck, [New Jersey]: three Muslim high schools, five Muslim junior-high schools, fifteen public schools. Can you see the vision, can you see young women walking down the street of Newark, New Jersey, with long flowing hijab and long dresses. Can you see the vision of an area . . . controlled by the Muslims?”
Paul Barrett, an editor for Business Week and author of the recent book, American Islam: Struggle for the Soul of Religion, explains the kind of justice that would be administered in Wahhaj’s Islamic America:

He has told his followers that a society governed by strict Islamic law, in which adulterers would be stoned to death and thieves would have their hands cut off, would be superior to American democracy.
And having spent significant amounts of time with Wahhaj, Barrett describes how he rises to the defense of Osama bin Laden, saying that he wants to remain neutral on bin Laden’s involvement in 9/11:

He says the al-Qaeda leader’s videotaped boasting about the attacks may have been a media ruse: “I’m just not so sure I want to be one of the ones who say, ‘Yeah, he did it. He’s a horrible man.’”
Surely Sunrise Academy will claim that this is nothing but “guilt by association”, but is their position really defensible? Wahhaj’s extremist public statements and his associations and public defense of convicted terrorists are well known. Sunrise Academy can’t claim that they weren’t aware. And yet they publicly chose not only to voluntarily associate with Wahhaj, but they brought him in to represent their organization for fundraising purposes.

Let’s not forget that Sunrise Academy was also the operational hub of Hilliard resident and Muslim Brotherhood operative Salah Sultan (see our recent post, “The Hilliard-HAMAS-Muslim Brotherhood Connection”). Sunrise Academy has many associations they should feel guilty about.

Today’s article promises more explosive revelations about the extensive network of Islamic radicalism in Central Ohio, which apparently extend into the corridors of political power. We can’t wait to see what those articles reveal.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Welcome Columbus Dispatch readers!

Welcome to everybody visiting looking for more information about Central Ohioans against Terrorism (COAT), especially those who read my letter to the editor today in the Columbus Dispatch! We’re glad you stopped by. The letter I’m responding to by Ahmad Al-Akhras, national vice chairman of the Council on American Islamic Relations and Columbus resident, is here. I have more fully critiqued Al-Akhras in an article earlier this week in The American Thinker, “Lies, Damned Lies, and CAIR’s Statistics”.

You might be surprised to hear that counterterrorism experts have identified the Central Ohio area as one of the top five “hot spots” for terrorist activity in the country. Be sure to visit us against to hear more about what you’re not hearing from the Columbus media establishment (especially the Columbus Dispatch) regarding terrorism and radical Islam in our community. For more information, feel free to contact me directly.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Ohio Hezbollah-Meth Drug Smuggling Ring

You’ve heard the one about the Cleveland gas station owner that was smuggling the ingredients for methamphetamine to California to raise millions of dollars for the Shi’ite terrorist group, Hezbollah. What, you haven’t? Oh, that’s right! The Columbus Dispatch never said anything about it. Silly me.

Earlier today I was reading a recent report, “The Convergence of Crime and Terror” by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Kyle Dabruzzi of the Center for Policing Terrorism. In their section on the roll of drug trafficking in the US for raising funds for Islamic terrorist organization, a quick mention of the case of Mohammad Shabib of Parma Heights was made in the context of the three known Hezbollah drug rings that federal authorities have thus far discovered (in addition to those run by Al-Qaeda, etc.).

Here’s a summary of the case:

Cleveland, Ohio: Federal prosecutors charged Mohammad Shabib with hiding his role in a drug ring which profits were funneled to Hizballah. Shabib, a gas station owner, had $8,000,000 in a Chicago bank account, which authorities say Shabib amassed by shipping roughly 3 tons of pseudoephedrine from Canada to California, which he would sell to Mexican gangs who would use the drugs to produce methamphetamine. (See: Amanda Garrett, “Terrorists’ Money Takes Convoluted Path in U.S.,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 18, 2004).
As soon as Shabib was charged (DOJ press release on the indictment) the leaders of the Cleveland Muslim community predictably rose up in his defense (much like CAIR’s Ahmad Al-Ahkras recently rose up in defense of Columbus Al-Qaeda suspect, Christopher Paul; see “Columbus Al-Qaeda Man Charge, CAIR Not Pleased”):

The possibility that Shabib was part of any terrorism plot made the president of the Cleveland Arab-American Business Association laugh out loud.

“This has to be the joke of 2002,” said Sam Qasem, who knew Shabib socially. “This guy didn’t know the first thing about anything. He wouldn’t know what to do with a gun. Believe me, this guy had nothing to do with any terrorism. He wanted to be more American than you or me.” (John Caniglia, “Man linked to terror drug ring,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 5, 2002)
Qasem did not explain the $8 million Shabib had stashed away in his Chicago bank accounts, the funds that he had transfered to Yemen, Lebanon and Jordan, nor the hours of phone taps the FBI had made recording Shabib conducting his meth smuggling business. That surely would have stopped his laughing.

While there were 32 individuals charged in this sweep, Shabib’s role was critical to the entire enterprise, as the Plain Dealer explained:

Federal authorities said Shabib connected two of the drug underworld’s greatest hubs: In Canada, workers have churned out pseudoephedrine legally in such massive quantities that the country is the leader in its production. In Riverside, Calif., workers have used the drug to make methamphetamine so quickly that the city and its suburbs are largest producers of the drug in the world. In the process, Shabib allegedly made big money. (John Caniglia, “Parma Heights man linked to drug ring,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 31, 2002)
As we’ve been trying to emphasize here at the COAT Blog, terrorism is a deadly serious matter here in Central Ohio, but you would never know it if you had to rely on the Columbus Dispatch or any of the Central Ohio TV stations. As Sun Tzu noted here in our very first blog post, “Columbus Dhimmimedia”, the Central Ohio media establishment is asleep at the wheel.

Fortunately, our friend Dirk Thompson of 610AM WTVN’s Radio Deli weekend show gets it. We are here, hopefully, that there will soon be many more like him. Thanks, Dirk!