Tuesday, July 31, 2007

BREAKING: Nuradin Abdi pleads guilty!

Another terrorist friend of Ahmad Al-Akhras goes down.

The Associated Press is reporting that Nuradin Abdi, a member of the Columbus Al-Qaeda cell who planned to shoot up an area shopping mall, pled guilty this afternoon to one count of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. Abdi is the second member of the cell to plead guilty. The first, Iyman Farris, was expected to testify in Abdi’s trial, which was scheduled to begin on August 6th. The remaining charges against Abdi were dropped in exchange for the plea agreement.

Remember that it was Ahmad Al-Akhras in June 2004 who stood up for Abdi, telling reporters:

“What we know about him is unlike how he is portrayed,” said Ahmad Al-Akhras, president of the Ohio office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations
This is not a good time to be a friend to Al-Akhras: first, Iyman Faris pled guilty to helping Al-Qaeda operations chief Khalid Sheikh Mohommad plot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge (see this NEFA Foundation backgrounder on the plot released earlier this week); then his longtime friend Fawaz Damra was found guilty of concealing his ties to Palestinian Islamic Jihad; now Nuradin Abdi takes the fall. I bet Ahmad Al-Akhras now regrets declaring Abdi’s innocence:

“This may be one of the cases also that may not have enough evidence or there’s no evidence at all,” Al-Akhras said.
Congrats to the Southern District of Ohio’s US Attorney’s office on another win. Meanwhile, Ahmad Al-Akhras is 0-3 just here in Ohio.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ahmad Al-Akhras on the Ropes?

Will seethe for food.

According to a very reliable source, as a result of my FrontPage exposé several weeks ago, “Hometown Jihad: Getting By with a Little Help from His (Terrorist) Friends” (restored link), CAIR-National vice chairman Ahmad Al-Akhras is on his way out of his long-time cushy government job with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), where Al-Akhras is currently assistant director of transportation. Until my article, his MORPC employers were not aware of his close friendships with Al-Qaeda, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Islamic Courts Union and Muslim Brotherhood terrorists and operatives or his pro-HAMAS and pro-Hezbollah rallys he has regularly staged here in town.

Apparently things are so bad that not even his good friend, Mayor Michael Coleman, can apparently save him (but Coleman may still keep him on the Community Relations Commission and the Street Car Working Group).

Does this action have anything to do with Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown, the former Public Affairs Director of MORPC, who is handling a crisis of her own with Al-Akhras’ business partner Abukar Arman, the terror apologist appointed by the commission to sit on the Planning Board that oversees Central Ohio Homeland Security? Then again, it could also be related to Al-Akhras playing hostess to murderous former Iranian dictators (see “A Smile and a Handshake for an Iranian Dictator”).

Needless to say, Ahmad is probably sharpening up his résumé right now. I’m sure that listing “national vice chairman for group named as unindicted co-conspirator in HAMAS terror financing trial” isn’t going to look good to most prospective employers. Depends on the employer, I guess.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Franklin County Commission Stonewall

Three weeks after it was revealed that a vocal supporter of Islamic terrorism, Abukar Arman, was sitting on the Franklin County Commission responsible for overseeing Central Ohio Homeland Security (see “Hilliard’s Somali Terror Apologist”) and Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks demanded an immediate investigation into Mr. Arman’s said support of terrorism (see “Impacting: Franklin County Commissioner Responds to Somali Terror Apologist Story”), the Franklin County Commission has since clammed up and has refused to respond to repeated media inquries about the matter (see “The Cover-Up Begins”).

Dirk Thompson of 610AM WTVN reports that he has submitted multiple email requests (“Emails to a Non-Responsive County Board of Commissioners”) to Franklin County Public Affairs Director Hanna Greer following up on the supposed investigation into Mr. Arman. He says:

For two weeks I’ve been trying to get one basic question answered by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners in regards to the appointment of Abukar Arman. “Who put his name in for consideration?”

These are the emails that have gone unanswered
He gets right to the heart of the matter by asking the crucial question:

“Who put Abukar Arman’s name forward to be put up for consideration?”
It’s long past time for the County Commissioners to answer that question.

Thompson also reprints his email correspondence (“Emails with an Apologist”) with Abukar Arman this week asking him to appear on his Radio Deli program. Arman refused TWICE to appear to defend his published comments on the al-Qaeda-backed Somali Islamic Courts Union, HAMAS, Hezbollah, and others. First, he says that critics have “cherry-picked” his statements; in his second response, he then complains that statements explaining his support for these terrorist groups has been “deliberately omitted”. Despite Arman’s name-calling and bigotted rantings (see “Abukar Arman Identifies the Zionist Global Conspiracy”), he has steadfastly refused to directly respond to his statements in support of terrorists. That should be of particular interest to those who have been following this story.

People have asked, “What can I do about this?” The answer is simple. Contact the Franklin County Commissioners and demand answers. There are two questions that demand response:

  1. When will the County Commission take action to remove Abukar Arman from his positions on the three county boards he currently sits on?

  2. Who is responsible for recommending Abukar Arman for these appointments?
Along those lines, the initial response from Commissioner Paula Brooks’ aide RJ Sontag was that she relied entirely on the recommendations of fellow commissioners Mary Jo Kilroy and Dewey Stokes.

But earlier this week, the minutes of the meeting in which Abukar Arman was appointed to the Planning Board were obtained, and lo an behold, it was none other than Commissioner Paula Brooks who moved the resolution appointing Arman and the other members of the Planning Board, which included Commissioner Kilroy and herself. I have provided the copy of the signed resolution 210-05 showing that Brooks was the one to move the motion approving the resolution, and the letter that all three signed informing Arman of his appointment.

Here is the contact information for the County Commissioners and the Public Affairs office:

Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy (614.462.5589, aide Amy Billerman aabiller@franklincountyohio.gov)

Commissioner Paula Brooks (614.462.5729, aide RJ Sontag rjsontag@franklincountyohio.gov)

Commissioner Marilyn Brown (614.462.3461, aide Laura Stehle ljstehle@franklincountyohio.gov)

Public Affairs Director Hanna Greer (614.462.5848, hmgreer@franklincountyohio.gov)
Here is the original resolution appointing Abukar Arman to the Planning Board, and the signed letter from the Commissioners announcing his appointment. Click for full version.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Abukar Arman Identifies the Zionist Global Conspiracy

Where’s the love, Abukar?

Over the past two weeks here at the COAT blog, we have been following the developing story of the local Somali terror apologist, Abukar Arman, who sits on the Franklin Justice Criminal Planning Board, which oversees Central Ohio Homeland Security.

The story began with a FrontPage Magazine article, “Hometown Jihad: The Somali Terror Apologist Next Door” (see our post, “Hilliard’s Somali Terror Apologist”). That FrontPage article then prompted Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks the following day to order an immediate investigation into Arman’s vocal support for terror organizations and individuals listed as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, such as HAMAS spiritual leader Youssef Al-Qaradawi, news that we broke here first, “Impacting: Franklin County Commissioner Responds to Somali Terror Apologist Story”. We then noticed an email exchange between 610 WTVN radio personality Dirk Thompson and County Commission spokeswoman Hanna Greer, who attempted to obfuscate the matter by claiming the Planning Board didn’t oversee the Homeland Security program — a claim directly refuted by the Franklin County Comprehensive Strategic Justice Plan (“The Cover-Up Begins”). These new developments were then covered by FrontPage last Monday, “The Columbus Homeland Security Cover-Up”.

Late last week, Abukar Arman publicly responded to the FrontPage story, “When the Politics of Polarization Prevails: Islamophobia and the Specter of Neo-McCarthyism”, claiming that he was being targeted by the Zionist global conspiracy and that the intent of the FrontPage articles wasn’t really his enthusiastic vocal support for terrorists, or his position overseeing Central Ohio Homeland Security, but instead, an article he wrote in June defending anti-Israel “scholar” Norman Finkelstein.

Of course, the two FrontPage articles never mention Arman’s Finkelstein article, but Abukar Arman is not one to let the facts get in the way of a good argument. He also identifies two scapegoats — Dr. Daniel Pipes and David Horowitz — as the true architects of the FrontPage exposé revealing Arman’s support for terrorist groups. Conventiently for Arman’s conspiratorial narrative, both Pipes and Horowitz are of Jewish backgrounds.

A response to Arman’s bizarre charges appears this morning at FrontPage, “Terror Apologist Identifies FrontPage Scapegoats”, noting that Pipes and Horowitz had no involvement whatsoever in the earlier articles on Arman’s extremist views. Over the weekend, Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs responded to Arman’s attack on LGF in his article, “When Islamists Seethe”.

Interestingly, Abukar Arman chose the Media Monitors Network to publish his diatribe. For those who aren’t familiar with the group, Media Monitors is an organization founded and edited by Muhammad Ali Khan and to dedicated to promoting the views of terror apologists, religious and racist bigots, and other extremists in an effort to silence the independent media voices that challenge the anti-American, anti-Israel and anti-terror bias of the establishment media. On it’s “About MMN” page, it admits that “Media Monitors Network would like to set the record straight on important issues that have received slanted press coverage.” Those important issues they intend of setting the record straight on are Israel and the Palestinians, as well as rehabilitating the image of fascism and doing its part to supporting the propaganda front to wage global jihad. Arman also had his article published by the Middle East Times and Middle East Online, both rabidly anti-Jewish websites, along with Media Matters. How appropriate.

We will have some additional breaking news on this story later today. Stay tuned! And be sure to read the FrontPage response to Arman’s identification of the Zionist global conspiracy at work.

Friday, July 20, 2007

CAIR-OH President’s “links to terror”

Following the recent terrorist attacks by Muslim doctors in London and Glasgow, CAIR sent out their own doctor, CAIR-Ohio President Asma Mobin-Uddin, a pediatrician, to explain how Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. As noted in a blog item at The American Thinker last week, “The curious links of a CAIR doctor who doesn’t support terror”, Mobin-Uddin had an editorial published in the NY Post attempting to distance the doctors involved in the terrorist plot overseas from the Muslim community. So far, so good.

But when you visit Mobin-Uddin’s personal website, at the bottom of her Resources page she features a link to Youssef Al-Qaradawi’s Islamonline.net website. Qaradawi, who owns the website, was listed by the US government as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in 1999. Islamonline has published a number of fatwas endorsing terrorist attacks against US military personnel and civilian contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, and HAMAS suicide bombers in Israel.

Also featured on her website is a link to Islamicity, a virulently anti-Jewish website. Mobin-Uddin’s profile at CAIRwatch describes some of the material found at these two sites:

Islamicity is an anti-Semitic portal, whose web library contains a piece entitled ‘Corruption of the Torah,’ which states, “The ‘people of the Book’ includes Jews... Even though Allah has told us of the hatred they hide in their hearts, He has not command us to hate and kill every single Jew we meet simply because he is a Jew. We are better than that. We serve a higher purpose. For this reason, I am going to provide a very devastating argument against them in order to assist them in seeing the corruption of their forefathers. . .” (Islamicity, Library of Selected Islamic Literature, October 2, 2000 - Present) Islam Online is a site that features live dialogues with Hamas leaders (Islam Online, Live Dialogue with Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, ‘Hamas and the Future of Palestine,’ May 7, 2003) and a ‘Fatwa Bank’ (religious ruling) section stating, “Hence, we are allowed to kill every Israeli until they stop this mass killing and paganism. It is only then that we can stop our attacks on the Israeli civilians but our Jihad against the military will never stop till they leave our land and give us back our holy site, Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa [Jerusalem].” (Islam Online, Jihad: Rulings & Regulations, ‘Attacking Civilians in Martyr Operations,’ October 26, 2003)
In addition, the Council on Islamic Education is a Saudi Wahhabist front group that has pressured public school textbook manufacturers into promoting Islamic practices and outright historical revisionsism, such as claiming that Muslims, not Christopher Columbus, discovered the New World. CIE Director Shabbir Mansuri said after 9/11 that it was his intention to wage a “bloodless revolution” to bring Islam into America’s classrooms. The Middle East Quarterly has more on CIE’s curious role as reviewer of public school textbooks.

If it is the case that Islam has nothing to do with Islamic extremism and individuals like Mobin-Uddin supposedly deplore terror, why does she promote on her own website terrorist organizations and individuals in addition to extremists? In the event that those links quickly disappear from her site, here are two screen captures, with the second showing the links to Islamonline, Islamicity, and CIE.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Cover-Up Begins

UPDATE (7/13): I will be on Dirk Thompson show tomorrow, Saturday, at 5:15pm EDT on 610AM WTVN talking about this issue [link to live Internet stream here]. Dirk has invited all three members of County Commission to participate, but none have taken him up on the offer as of yet.

UPDATE #2 (7/15): I have added below the first four pages of the “Franklin County Comprehensive Strategic Justice Plan” as jpegs that directly refute the claims made by Franklin County Commission Public Information Director Hanna Greer that the Criminal Justice Planning Board does not oversee Homeland Security and that all information handed by the Criminal Justice Planning Board are public documents (discussed below).

UPDATE #3 (7/16): More details and additional questions can be found in my FrontPage article today, “The Columbus Homeland Security Cover-Up”.


If Watergate should have taught politicians anything, its that the cover-up ends up more damaging than the actual crime.

Case in point: following up on the report yesterday about Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks calling for an immediate investigation in response to my article published earlier this week, “Hometown Jihad: The Somali Terror Apologist Next Door,” today it seems that the County Commissioners have begun to rally around terror apologist Abukar Arman rather than answer the hard questions about who recommended Arman for appointment to the Criminal Justice Planning Board, which oversees Central Ohio Homeland Security.

Earlier today, Dirk Thompson of 610 WTVN received an email from Hanna Greer, Public Information Officer for the Franklin County Commission. Thompson was making an inquiry as a member of the media, and Greer’s email was a public statement in response. Here is what she said:

From: Greer, Hanna M. [mailto:hmgreer@franklincountyohio.gov]
Sent: Fri 7/13/2007 2:14 PM
To: Thompson, Dirk
Subject: Statement in Response to your Request

Mr. Thompson,

Franklin County has implemented a national model for intelligence and information-sharing with trained terrorist and intelligence analysts. We rely on their expertise. We also take seriously any allegation of terrorism and will refer Mr. Poole’s information for review.

The Franklin County Criminal Justice Planning Board meets quarterly to review annual grant applications for funding from the Justice Assistance Grant Program, Violence Against Women Act, Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention II and Juvenile Accountability Block Grant from a diverse pool of applicants. The Criminal Justice Planning Board does not oversee homeland security for Franklin County. Those functions belong to police and fire, the Sheriff’s office and the FBI. Any information about homeland security presented to the Board is also available publicly.

Hanna Greer

Hanna M. Greer
Public Affairs Director
Franklin County Board of Commissioners
373 S. High St., 26th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Again, rather than answer the hard questions about Abukar Arman and who is behind his sudden rise to power, Ms. Greer is claiming that the Criminal Justice Planning Board really doesn’t oversee Homeland Security. This is a back-door method to try to attack my credibility and my reporting of the story. But as Mr. Thompson noted in a reply, the Planning Board’s own report, “The Franklin County Comprehensive Strategic Justice Plan”, which is dated December 2006, states the following about the Planning Board’s oversight of Homeland Security:

The Board is responsible for comprehensive countywide planning and directing the mission of the Office of Homeland Security & Justice Programs. The Franklin County Office of Homeland Security & Justice Programs performs the fiscal and programmatic administration of the county’s federal justice block grants and the Urban Area Security Initiative, provides training and technical assistance for the justice partners and first responders, and is responsible for the development and evaluation of projects and programs operating in accordance with the Franklin County Comprehensive Strategic Justice Plan and the Homeland Security Strategy.

[. . . .]

The Homeland Security Strategy was developed in January 2004 by the Homeland Security Advisory Council and is aligned with the State of Ohio’s Homeland Security Strategy. The Strategy is updated annually to identify goals and define the implementation steps necessary to support Franklin County’s First Responders in prevention, protection, response to, and recovery from all-hazard incidents. The Strategy is written in an all-hazards approach to support on-going efforts to provide planning, training, exercising, and equipment to secure critical infrastructure, provide personal protection, improve communications, and promote interoperability. The Homeland Security Strategy is a sensitive document protected under the Homeland Security Act and is referred to in general terms herein.
Dirk has more details from the Strategic Justice Plan at his website. This document refutes the very two points she tried to make in her email to Mr. Thompson: 1) the Criminal Justice Planning Board DOES have oversight of area Homeland Security; and 2) the Homeland Security Strategy is a “sensitive document” and not available to the public as she claims.

Again, Hanna Greer is the Public Information Director for the Franklin County Commission, yet she either: 1) Doesn’t have the slightest idea what she’s talking about, in which case she should be fired immediately for incompetence; or 2) She is taking the lead in the cover-up on this issue.
My money is on No. 2. Be sure to download that document now, because it’s sure to quickly disappear from the County Commission website as this story unfolds. The cover-up has begun, folks.

Here are the first four pages from the Franklin County Comprehensive Strategic Justice Plan.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Impacting: Franklin County Commissioner Responds to Somali Terror Apologist Story

SEE THE UPDATE, “The Cover-Up Begins

Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks’ office responded to yesterday’s FrontPage Magazine exposé revealing Somali terror apologist Abukar Arman’s appointment to the board overseeing Central Ohio Homeland Security, “Hometown Jihad: The Somali Terror Apologist Next Door” (see our post, “Hilliard’s Somali Terror Apologist”). Brooks aide RJ Sontag sent the following email to an inquirer:

From: “Sontag, RJ” <rjsontag@franklincountyohio.gov>
To: “XXX” <[removed]>
Subject: RE: Question
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2007 16:45:58 -0400

Dear Mr. XXX:

Commissioner Brooks asked that I share this with you. She did not recommend Mr. Arman, and Commissioner Brooks especially relied on the judgment of the other voting commissioners: Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy and former Commissioner Dewey Stokes — both of whom she thought knew Mr. Arman.

RJ Sontag
Aide to Commissioner Paula Brooks
Franklin County Board of Commissioners
373 South High Street, 26th Floor
Columbus Ohio 43215
o: (614) 462-5729
f: (614) 462-5999
Brooks sent the following memo to Don Brown, County Administrator, and Karen Crandall, County Homeland Security director, earlier today:

To: Don Brown, County Administrator
CC: Kathy Crandall, Director, Homeland Security and Justice Programs
From: Paula Brooks, Commissioner
Date: July 12, 2007

I expect this to be investigated expeditiously. If true, these allegations are definitely grounds for removal.
This is a positive development, but it remains to be seen if:

  1. The powers-that-be in Central Ohio rally around Mr. Arman, despite his extremist views, in order to avoid the obvious implication that the very people responsible for our Homeland Security in Central Ohio don’t even have a clue as to what’s going on in our area;

  2. Anyone actually takes credit for Arman’s appointment. Sontag’s email is an indication that Brooks, despite having voted for Arman’s appointment, is already passing the buck to Mary Jo Kilroy and former commissioner Dewey Stokes. Will it seem that Abukar Arman magically appeared from the heavens and landed on the Franklin County Criminal Justice Planning Board and the Community Planning Commission without any explanation? Or was it secret Franklin County Commissioner and Columbus School Board member Keyser Söze who is responsible for Abukar Arman’s appointment?
Stay tuned for updates as they happen.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Jihad U at OSU this weekend and next

McPherson Chemical Labs at The Ohio State University is the location this weekend and next of an Al-Maghrib Institute seminar, Rays of Faith, being taught by Waleed Basyouni. Al-Maghrib is affectionately known as “Jihad U” for its promotion of Wahhabi extremism and Muslim Brotherhood activism. (See the FrontPage articles, “Jihad U”, “Saudi Press Plugs Jihad U”, and “Jihad U’s Student Internship”, for more on Al-Maghrib Institute.)

Basyouni is a Wahhabi-trained cleric, having obtained both Bachelor and Master degrees from Al-Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, the academic heart of Wahhabi Islam, and a protege of Sheikh Abdelaziz bin Baz, who author Gilles Kepel identifies as “the principal Wahhabite ideologist” in his book, Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam. He is an instructor for the Muslim Brotherhood-front American Open University, which accredits Al-Maghrib Institute courses. According to Basyouni’s DiscovertheNetworks.org profile, he has said that Muslims are the only ones who know God and has launched into violent diatribes against Jews. He also is Director of the annual Texas Dawah Convention, attended by thousands of Muslims every year, which has been criticized for its lengthy list of extremist speakers, several of whom have been banned from entering the US.

Columbus is currently one of fourteen cities in North America with permanent Al-Maghrib Institute affiliate, Qabeelat Hayl, which has taken the motto, “There’s a storm on the horizon”. What kind of storm they have in mind for Columbus is yet unknown.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Jihad Summer Camp in Clinton, OH

FrontPage reports today of a jihad summer camp, “ISNA’s Jihad Summer Camp”, currently underway at the YMCA-Akron CampY-Noah in Clinton, OH. The camp is sponored by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), one of the organizations recently listed as unindicted co-conspirator by federal prosecutors in the HAMAS terrorist financing trail underway in Texas. Those same prosecutors also identify ISNA as an active Muslim Brotherhood front, and its associations with the Saudi Wahhabi lobby have been well documented elsewhere.

As the article notes, the 2007 ISNA summer camp features a number of extremist speakers, including Jamal Badawi, one of ISNA’s top officials. Badawi may be speaking on a number of his favorite topics:Another speaker is Siraj Wahhaj, one of Central Ohio Muslim community’s favorite extremists, who was named as unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Wahhaj was the subject of a recent post here, “Sunrise Academy’s Fundraising Friends”.

Be sure to read the whole article.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Governor Strickland Praises Terrorist Supporters but Snubs Our Fallen Heroes

On Saturday, June 30, 2007, in Sunbury, hundreds turned out at the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial Dedication to honor and pay tribute to Ohio’s fallen heroes in the war on terror. However, Governor Ted Strickland was MIA. Although he had committed to attend and was listed in the program, he was nowhere to be seen. I was curious why the Governor “couldn’t make it,” so I asked. Turns out he canceled at the last minute (and didn’t even send a rep). According to Jerry Bowman, Lieutenant Corporal, Retired, and Committee member of the OFHM, Governor Strickland cited “budget” work as his excuse, even though, the Dispatch reported the budget had breezed through on Wednesday. Yet this same Governor just two weeks ago, in the midst of working on the budget, managed to find time to attend CAIR’s banquet and praise them for their work. CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, has known ties to terrorists, refuses to denounce Hamas and Hizbollah as terrorist’s groups, and has recently been named by Federal Prosecutors as co-conspirators in Hamas terrorist fund raising activities. Governor Strickland praises CAIR and snubs our Gold Star Families. Here is one of the fathers of a fallen hero that Governor Strickland snubbed.

Jerry Bowman also told me that he read Governor Strickland was planning a victory lap around the state to celebrate the budget. The Governor seems to have forgotten that the reason he lives free to do victory laps or anything else he wants to do is because of the 189 fallen Ohio soldiers and their comrades in the war on terror that he couldn’t find time to honor. Or maybe the Governor couldn’t find the time because he agrees with his Democrat comrade John Edwards that the war on terror is nothing more than a bumper sticker slogan. How else could he praise CAIR terrorist supporters and snub our fallen heroes and their families? Although the Governor may have forgotten the sacrifices made, we will never forget. Never.