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”).

Friday, April 18, 2008

Noor Center hosts Hezbollah apologist to coincide with 25th anniversary of Beirut embassy bombing

The extremist Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) has apparently found a home in Hilliard at the Noor Islamic Cultural Center. Just this past February, MPAC community development director Haris Tarin made an appearance at Noor. And just this past weekend, the chief MPAC extremist himself, Salam Al-Marayati, was the featured speaker at a youth(!) event at Noor:

NICC Youth Group Presents:
Forming a National & Religious Identity in the Age of Islamophobia
Salam Al Marayati
Executive Director of Muslim Public Affairs Council

The First Muslim Leader to testify before US House

Saturday, April 12th, 2008
11:00 am-1:00 pm

Noor Islamic Cultural Center, 1st Floor
Noor Islamic and Cultural Center

Al-Marayati made national news this week when he refused to meet with the Pope, as reported by the Associated Press (“US Muslim Group Declines to Meet Pope”). So much for “interfaith relations”. However, this isn’t the first, or even the second, time that Al-Marayati’s extremism has made news.

What is so particularly offensive about Al-Marayati’s appearance is that the visit of this openly pro-Hezbollah supporter coincides with the 25th anniversary of the US Embassy bombing in Beirut by Hezbollah, which killed 63 people, including 17 Americans.

In June 1999, Al-Marayati was selected by then-House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt to serve on a 10-member congressional commission on terrorism. But as the CNN article pictured below with Marayati shows ("US Muslim leader denies he’s a terrorist sympathizer"), this announcement was immediately followed by revelations that Al-Marayati had made numerous statements in support of terrorism and terrorist organizations. In fact, his appointment to the terrorism commission was revoked by Gephardt following these revelations. (See the Investigative Project’s profile on Al-Marayati.)

One particular statement that raised the attention of the media was found in MPAC’s 1999 counterterrorism policy paper, which asserted that the Hezbollah suicide attack on the US Marine barracks in Beirut, which killed 241 American servicemen, was not a terrorist attack, but a military operation:

And lest anyone think I’m doing something dodgy with his quote, here’s the screen capture from the MPAC policy paper:

What’s even more obnoxious is that MPAC equated the Hezbollah suicide attack with John Wayne and the movie, The Fighting Seabees. As the Investigative Project profile indicates, this is a favorite theme for Al-Marayati, who has compared the Islamic doctrine of jihad (holy war) to Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech:

“When Patrick Henry said, ‘Give me liberty or give me death,’ that statement epitomized jihad”
For more background on Al-Marayati and MPAC, see the CAMERA analysis and the Discover the Networks profile.

And give a call to Hilliard Mayor Don Schonhardt (614 334-2365 — city switchboard) and ask him what he’s doing to address the steady stream of Islamic hate sheikhs and terror enthusiasts going through the Noor Islamic Cultural Center and Sunrise Academy.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

True Moderate Muslim Dr. Zuhdi Jasser speaks at Columbus State

[UPDATE - If you're looking for information concerning Zuhdi Jasser's appearance at the Noor Center on July 26, 2008, go to our post here.]

Note to all of our local politicians, especially those who coddle radical Islamists, such as those from CAIR: below is a brief interview with Dr. Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) — a true Muslim moderate and retired Naval officer. He spoke recently at Columbus State Community College on Islamic extremism and terrorism.

Dr. Jasser is a welcome alternative to the long line of extremists that have paraded around town identifying themselves as “moderates”, but openly support terrorism and radicalism when they think no one is looking. And he is exponentially better than the bevy of Wahhabis and Muslim Brotherhood preachers regularly imported to our area by the usual suspects — Islamic Society of Greater Columbus, Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio, Noor Islamic Cultural Center, etc.

May we have more true moderate Muslim voices in Central Ohio! And Dr. Jasser, you’re welcome to Columbus any time.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Terrorist Fundraisers 4 Obama

They all believe in change . . .

Two years ago, Hatem El-Hady was the chairman of the Toledo, Ohio-based Islamic charity, Kindhearts, which was closed by the US government in February 2006 for terrorist fundraising and all its assets frozen. Today, El-Hady has redirected his fundraising efforts for his newest cause — Barack Obama for President.

El-Hady has his own dedicated page on Barack Obama’s official website, chronicling his fundraising on behalf of the Democratic Party presidential candidate (his Obama profile established on February 19, 2008 — two years to the day after Kindhearts was raided by the feds). Not only that, but he has none other than Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle Obama, listed as one of his friends, one of her 224 listed friends.

But his leadership of Kindhearts is not the only thing that has brought him scrutiny by federal law enforcement officials. Last summer, El-Hady was questioned by the FBI concerning his knowledge of possible conspirators in a UK-based terror plot.

Hatem El-Hady’s interest in “change” is understandable. Following the closure of Kindhearts, he said in response to the government’s closure of his organization:

“It’s dirty politics,” said Dr. Hatem Elhady, chairman of the board of KindHearts, which raised $5.1 million in 2004. “They do not like the way things are going in Palestine. They do not like the election results. But that is not our problem. Our problem is providing aid to people in desperate need of help.”
The Department of Justice had a very different version of events. According to the DOJ, Kindhearts assumed the role of lead terrorist fundraising in the US after the government had closed other such Islamic “charities”:

“KindHearts is the progeny of Holy Land Foundation and Global Relief Foundation, which attempted to mask their support for terrorism behind the fa├žade of charitable giving,” said Stuart Levey, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
Not only was Kindhearts engaged in providing funds for HAMAS in Lebanon and the West Bank, it had hired as a fundraising specialist the man identified as the designated HAMAS bag man in the US, Mohammed El-Mezain.

And as investigative reporter Joe Kaufman revealed, “The Black Hearts of Kindhearts”, a number of other Kindhearts officials were tied to terrorist fundraising and support:

  • KindHearts’ Director of Domestic Programs, Khalifah Ramadan. Ramadan was a training and evaluation consultant for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), two large Muslim organizations based in the United States that have links to overseas terror groups.
  • KindHearts’ Representative, Omar Shahin. Shahin was an Imam for the Islamic Center of Tucson (ICT), the former home of numerous terror operatives, including Wael Jelaidan, who later helped found Al-Qaeda.
  • KindHearts’ Representative, Wagdy Ghuneim. Ghuneim, an Egyptian cleric, has been featured in KindHearts fundraising dinners for 2002, 2003, and 2004. During a rally at Brooklyn College, in May of 1998, Ghuneim attempted to persuade the crowd to support violent jihad and labeled Jews as “descendants of the apes.”
  • KindHearts’ Representative, Hatem Bazian. Bazian is an Islamic Studies instructor and a member of the faculty of Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkley. In April of 2004, during a San Francisco anti-war rally, Bazian, a native Palestinian, called for an “intifada” against the United States. This was just two months prior to Bazian being featured in a KindHearts Fundraising Dinner, entitled ‘Palestinians in agony!’
  • KindHearts’ Manager in Lebanon, Haytham Maghawri (a.k.a. Haytham Fawri). Maghawri, the past Social Services Director for HLF, according to the Treasury Department, “collected [KindHearts] funds and sent them to Hamas and other Salafi groups.” [One of the recipients of KindHearts funding was Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) Usama Hamdan, a leader of Hamas in Lebanon.]
And two months before Kindhearts closure by the US government, Beila Rabinowitz had revealed that the South Asia Division Coordinator for Kindhearts, Zulfiqar Ali Shah, had known ties to al-Qaeda, even conducting a 10-day tour with officials for the Tablighi Jamaat organization, which the New York Times had described as “a springboard for militancy” and a “recruitment” center for Al-Qaeda.

Barack Obama has promised change. And as indicated by the public support that his candidacy has received by accused terrorist fundraiser Hatem El-Hady, Obama’s version of change that terrorists and their US supporters can believe in.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

OSU MSA speaker and convicted terrorist leader enters fifth year in prison

It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, but as Robert Spencer reminds us today in an article for Human Events, “A Jailed Jihadists Unhappy Anniversary”, this week marks the fifth anniversary of Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist leader Sami Al-Arian’s incarceration. Happy Anniversary, Sami!

He pled guilty to conspiracy to assist a terrorist organization and was sentenced to 57 months in prison.

Here’s what he admitted to, courtesy of the Department of Justice:

Al-Arian admits that he performed services for the PIJ in 1995 and thereafter, when he was a professor at the University of South Florida and after he knew that the PIJ had been designated by President Clinton as a terrorist organization. Al-Arian also acknowledges in the plea agreement that he knew the PIJ used acts of violence as a means to achieve its objectives. Nevertheless, Al-Arian continued to assist the terrorist organization, for instance, by filing official paperwork to obtain immigration benefits for PIJ associate Bashir Nafi, and concealing the terrorist associations of various individuals associated with the PIJ. He further admits to assisting PIJ associate Mazen al-Najjar in a federal court proceeding, a proceeding in which al-Najjar and Nafi both falsely claimed under oath that they were not associated with the PIJ. Moreover, Al-Arian acknowledges that in late 1995, when Ramadan Shallah, co-conspirator and former director of Al-Arian’s “think tank,” the World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE) was named as the new Secretary General of the PIJ, Al-Arian falsely denied to the media that he knew of Shallah’s association with PIJ.
But we should be reminded that one of his last appearances before heading to the pokey was here in Columbus, where he spoke in October 2002 for the Ohio State Muslim Students Association. Here’s a report of the OSUMSA event with the now-convicted terrorist leader Al-Arian:

October 17, 2002

A Florida professor suspended for alleged ties to terrorism said he’s been accused in all of the major terrorist acts in the United States, but got into trouble after Sept. 11 because of a growing disregard for civil rights.

Sami Al Arian, a professor at the University of South Florida, said he and other Muslims were “attacked” after two attacks at the World Trade Center — in 1993 and on Sept. 11, 2001 — and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

His talk to a group of about 80 people last night at Ohio State University was arranged by OSU’s Muslim Student Association.

“These kinds of attacks have been taking place for years, especially since 1995, but liberties have only been threatened since Sept. 11 because America feels hysteria,” Al Arian said. “Everybody is engulfed in the feeling of insecurity.”

He said he founded a research institute to try to debunk the belief that Muslims and Americans have an inherent “clash of cultures” and since then has been under a cloud of suspicion.

“The theory to us is not right, and we wanted to do something about it.”

His pro-Palestinian views, however, have led to accusations that he helped fund terrorist groups.

That’s the pretext the University of South Florida in Tampa has used to suspend him and take steps toward firing him from his job as a computer-science teacher.

He denied any such funding and said there’s been no proof of it. The university has filed a lawsuit against Al Arian.

Al Arian said his story became overblown when a Fox TV reporter “baited” him to be interviewed on a news show after the Sept. 11 attack.

Comments he made — including “death to Israel” — years before were reported out of context, Al Arian said.

He was then banned from campus “for safety reasons” and, a short time later, the university’s trustees — buckling to “pro-Zionist” pressure — moved to suspend him.

“If I had said ‘death to God,’ I would not be here today. This issue here is freedom of speech.”

Attitudes toward Muslims have developed since the fall of the former Soviet Union, with Muslims being made America’s new enemy, he said.

“People are busy looking for an enemy, and that enemy was found in Islam. Instead of a Red Scare, it’s a Green Scare.”
As we now know, he was lying the entire time about his involvement with terrorism and his protestations of innocence were nothing but lies. In fact at his sentencing, that was the very conclusion that trial judge James Moody arrived at, calling Al-Arian “a master manipulator”, saying at his sentencing hearing:

Dr. Al-Arian, as usual, you speak very eloquently. I find it interesting that here in public in front of everyone you praised this country, the same country that in private you referred to as “the great Satan”; but that’s just evidence of how you operate in the face of your friends and neighbors. You are a master manipulator. You looked your neighbors in the eyes and said you had nothing to do with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. This trial exposed that as a lie.

Your back-up claim is that your efforts were only to provide charities for widows and orphans. That, too, is a lie. The evidence was clear in this case that you were a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. You were on the board of directors and an officer, the secretary. Directors control the actions of an organization, even the PIJ; and you were an active leader.
Al-Arian remains in prison for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury about the involvement of his associates in terrorist financing in the US. Last year a federal appeals court rejected his claim that he was exempt from testifying as a result of his plea agreement. So thus he remains in prison while he continues to obstruct justice.

Oh, and as for those comments “taken out of context”, I invite you to see for yourself. Such as his “Let us damn America!” speech (a speech delivered in Cleveland). Or his “Jihad is our path, death to Israel” speech. These had been made public several years BEFORE he appeared at OSU.

Now Al-Arian’s supporters will claim that they were duped, but there were very few people who by the time he appeared at OSU in 2002 still believed he was innocent. Even worse, many of these same organizations, including the Muslim Student Association, continue to back him even after he admitted his terrorist ties. Some are even hailing him as the new Martin Luther King, Jr. and a civil rights icon.

The reality is that Sami Al-Arian is a liar and terrorist, and thanks to the OSUMSA, he was brought into our community. As I will be reporting later, Al-Arian’s appearance in Central Ohio was not the first time that a terrorist leader had been to our area. Stay tuned!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

New report documents Anisa Abd El Fattah shilling for Iranian ayatollahs

A report released yesterday by the Investigative Project discusses the efforts by Columbus resident Anisa Abd El Fattah (aka Caroline Keeble, would-be Columbus Public Schools Board member) on behalf of the Iranian mullahocracy, which she has said is a “truly democratic” regime. While still Director of Public Affairs for HAMAS front (and since closed) United Association for Studies and Research (UASR), Fattah even moderated a panel discussion advocating for opening relations with the “Axis of Evil” member and state sponsor of terrorism.

Before looking what the report says, it bears reminding readers that Fattah recently appeared at a conference for Anjoman Islami, an Iranian-backed group which FBI Director Louis Freeh identified in congressional testimony as a domestic terror threat. Anjoman Islami/Muslim Student Association-Persian Speaking Group is also one of the leading purveyors of anti-Jewish hate literature and activities in the world.

Here’s the relevent excerpt from the IPT report (pp. 4-5; footnotes in the original):

Anisa Abd El Fattah, who served as a member of CAIR’s board of directors, has led its campaign to rehabilitate Iran in the United States. In a series of articles and interviews in 1998–2000, she portrayed Iran as a moderate, democratic, and unfairly demonized nation.

For example, in a June 1998 letter to the editor of the Washington Times, she wrote:

The United States has only one strategic asset in the Middle East, namely Israel. This is ludicrous when the region consists of nearly 25 other countries, mostly Arabian. Iran, though not Arabian, is by far the most prosperous and stable of them all. It is also the only one of these countries that is truly democratic. In fact, an Iranian representative chairs the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a representative body of the Muslim world.26
Abd El Fattah co-hosted a panel sponsored by UASR at the 1999 AMC convention in Crystal City, Virginia. The panel, entitled “U.S. and Iran, Time to Talk,” was scheduled to feature Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Sayyid Hadi Najad Hossenian, but he was barred from the event by the State Department.27 Advising the audience that Hossenian would not appear, Abd El Fattah spoke out against the pro-Israel pundits who she claimed were responsible for Hossenian’s exclusion. “I don’t know about you, but what that tells me is that I have a challenge; and that challenge is to speak louder than them [the pro-Israel groups], be more active than they are. They love Israel. We love America, and we also love Iran,” she said.28
In fact, here is Anisa Abd El Fattah’s entire June 25, 1998, letter to the editor to the Washington Times:

On June, 22 you published an Op-Ed piece by Kenneth Timmerman, “No time to play nice with Iran.” The sole focus of this column is that if Iran makes a dime anywhere, it will invest that dime in nuclear arms. This, Mr. Timmerman fears, would have “devastating consequences for U.S. national security and for our allies in the Middle East.”

Such fears are the very reason the United States has only one strategic asset in the Middle East, namely Israel. This is ludicrous when the region consists of nearly 25 other countries, mostly Arabian. Iran, though not Arabian, is by far the most prosperous and stable of them all. It is also the only one of these countries that is truly democratic. In fact, an Iranian representative chairs the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a representative body of the Muslim world.

Iran will sell oil, whether it be to U.S. companies or not. It also will develop the necessary armaments to secure itself against other nuclear powers in the Middle East. The recent nuclear tests conducted by Pakistan and India prove that we are incapable of policing the proliferation of nuclear arms. In addition, we do not have the moral right to deny security and deterrence to one country while we ship arms to another, especially in the same region.

We need pragmatic and effective policies in the Middle East that serve America’s enlightened interest. Normalizing relations with Iran would be a good place to start.

Falls Church
So she vows that Iran will develop nuclear weapons to “secure itself against other nuclear powers in the Middle East” — Israel being the only country fitting that description — and that we have “no moral right” to deprive “Axis of Evil” member Iran of nuclear weapons while supporting the only “truly democratic” country in the Middle East — Israel. Instead, she believes that we should reward Iran’s support for terrorism throughout the Middle East, most notably Hezbollah which at the time had killed hundreds of American peacekeepers and other military personnel, by normalizing relations with the Iranian mullahocracy.

In another letter to the editor by Fattah published by the Columbus Dispatch this past September, she identified Israeli citizens — men, woman and children alike — as legitimate targets for terrorist attacks, saying:

There are no Israeli civilians in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. There are only illegal Jewish settlers, who, by Israeli law, are also citizen-soldiers. They are heavily armed with fully automatic weapons.
And then are her recent public defense of neo-Nazis and expressions of support for the neo-Nazi website, Stormfront.

But don’t worry: she’s still considered a moderate by the Columbus Dispatch.