Op-Ed: Two US Banks and Funds to Hamas

Arutz Sheva, by Lee Kaplan, Feb. 26, 2015:

Paul LaRudee is an impassioned supporter of Hamas and the Palestinian revolution against Israel. He operates the Northern California chapter of the International Solidarity Movement.  In 2006, Paul LaRudee was stopped trying to enter Israel under a fake identity as Paul Wilder in order to try and bring aid to Hamas. That case resulted in a Supreme Court case in Israel as pro-Hamas elements tried to legally allow him to stay in that country. I provided evidence back then that got him deported. You can read about that here.

LaRudee, after being deported, went to Lebanon next to meet up with Hezbollah during that summer’s war with Israel.. LaRudee has been involved with the Gaza Flotillas to bring material aid to Hamas in Gaza for the last several years. He was arrested and detained during the Mavi Marmara incident when terrorists on board one of the ships attacked Israeli soldiers seeking to stop the ship on the high seas.

Palestine Children’s Welfare Fund (PCWF) in Texas is a nonprofit charitable front also for Hamas. Its website used to hold art contests for Palestinian children to draw suicide bombings of Israelis. The head of PCWF according to police in Texas committed suicide several years ago after the FBI raided his offices. Hamad was found drowned in Lady Bird Lake in Texas, his hands bound with tape and his mouth taped up.  Despite the tape, the local police ruled his death a suicide.

Paul LaRudee took over the finances for PCWF and continued raising money to be sent to the Palestinians as “charity.”  Although PCWF was in Texas, LaRudee ran it from his home in El Cerrito, California as he started another fundraising organization, Palestinemovement.org on the West Coast.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh second right, shakes hands with American Paul Larudee as he stands with members of the U.S.-based Free Gaza group, which left Cyprus by boat on Friday, during a meeting at his house in Gaza City, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008. AP PHOTO

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh second right, shakes hands with American Paul Larudee as he stands with members of the U.S.-based Free Gaza group, which left Cyprus by boat on Friday, during a meeting at his house in Gaza City, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008. AP PHOTO

Despite photos of him shaking hands with the head of Hamas in Gaza, (http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/san_francisco_anti_israel_bus_ads_link_with_terrorism_and_antisemitism) and even receiving an award from Hamas, LaRudee continued to call it ‘charity” work for Gaza.

The US Supreme Court recently ruled that terrorist organizations could not be exempted from having their funds seized in the US by saying the funds are apolitical “charity” for poor civilians. This angle was used repeatedly during the war on terror to raise funds for terrorist groups.

Paul LaRudee wired $3,750 US to a bank in Lebanon that was allegedly to give the money for food and blankets to the Palestinians, a.k.a. Hamas in Gaza. LaRudee was so used to abusing the system he addressed the funds to Hafez Assad.  Hafez Assad was the former dictator of Syria whose son Bashir now runs whatever is left of the country. It got him caught.

The funds were to be wired through Bank of the West in California that relies on Mellon Bank in New York or overseas transactions. The money was really meant for Hamas in Gaza. LaRudee must have gotten away with this procedure for quite a while to use the name of a dead dictator.

However, an alert bank employee at Mellon Bank thought this particularmoney transfer looked suspicious. Responsible banks strive to intercept funds meant for terrorism, but most don’t bother. Bank of the West didn’t, but Mellon Bank did. They froze the funds, asking for more information.

LaRudee began asking the funds be sent back to PalestineMovement.org and himself.  Bank of the West began to smell a rat and asked for more information about who Hafez Assad is.  LaRudee began blitzing the banks and their legal departments with emails from his acolytes across the country.

As a reporter, I tried calling Bank of the West and alerting them to LaRudee’s background and links to terrorist groups. But I was stonewalled.  An email LaRudee put out asked his supporters to email the bank and protest giving the money back:

“At one point, we thought we might have a breakthrough when we received a statement from Bank of the West Chief Counsel, Quinn Osborne, that Bank of New York Mellon was in fact refusing to return our funds without the information that they were requesting about the beneficiary of the transaction that we cancelled, the Charitable Association for Palestinian Refugees.  We needed this in case they continued to hold the funds even after we provided the information, so that we could demonstrate that their action is illegal.

“No sooner had we submitted the requested information than Mr. Osborne informed us that BNY Mellon would not be returning the funds.  None of the requested information was relevant, because the transaction had been cancelled and we had instructed that the money should be returned to our account, not to the beneficiary.  To give you an idea of the absurdity of most of the questions, however, you are welcome to read the text of our letter, which we sent to Tanya Kazak, Bank of the West VP for Compliance.

“With your calls, emails and threats to move your banking away from Bank of the West, we had hoped to resolve the matter this week.  It may take longer, but here is what we plan to do:

“Take it even more public.  This morning we issued a local press release n order to carry the message farther.  We are considering national or even international outlets, but we are starting with our local area.  If you have press contacts, please refer this to them. Sue them in small claims court.  It turns out that even nonprofit corporations can use such courts in California for amounts up to $5000.  $3720 plus a $45 transaction fee may be pocket change for Bank of the West and especially BNY Mellon, with more than $1 trillion in assets, but for Palestinian refugees and our tiny nonprofit, it is worth all the trouble. Continue the boycott and sanctions campaign against Bank of the West.  Although BNY Mellon is holding our funds, Bank of the West is accountable for them because we are their client, not BNY Mellon’s.  We are hoping to use the power of you, the people, to restore justice in this instance, and to make Bank of the West see the wisdom of settling the matter without further damage to their reputation. We intend to seek help from public officials and agencies.  We have already filed a complaint with the California Department of Business Oversight for financial institutions.  In addition, we plan to follow up with the members of Congress and especially Barbara Lee, in whose district we are headquartered.  We welcome your help in this regard and hope to have contact and reference information for you soon.

“In the meantime, we have a new number for you to call, that of Bank of the West Chief Counsel Quinn Osborne, +1 402 918 1623, and his fax is +1 402 918 5482, email quinn.osborne@bankofthewest.com.  He is the main contact with BNY Mellon and responsible for assuring that their instructions are followed.  He needs to hear from you.

“Thank you for all your support.  We are going to win this one.”

For previous information and newsletters on this subject, visit freepalestinemovement.org and thepcwf.org

A PCWF page likewise did the same. Bank of the West isn’t responding. Are they going to return the money to La Rudee and his Hamas enthusiasts or are they going to honor national security and confiscate it? Indications are the banks might give LaRudee the money back just to be rid of the problem. Their refusal to accept information, photos and other items that prove LaRudee was sending money to a false identity in Lebanon for transfer to Hamas in Gaza is particularly vexing as the War on Terror drags on.  We can only hope Bank of the West does the right thing.

As of February 25th, Bank of the West retrieved the funds from Mellon Bank that provided them to them and LaRudee and company were back in business. These funds which were allegedly sent to the poor in Gaza were in fact sent to Lebanon addressed to a dead Arab dictator. Both Mellon Bank and Bank of the West caved to an email bombardment and sent the money back. Bank of the West should be ashamed. Americans should be worried that our banking industry in helping to fund one of the worse terrorist organizations in the world.

One thing is certain, Bank of the West may just refuse future wire transfers from LaRudee and company. If so, only then does the bank deserve the patronage of Americans.

Lee Kaplan heads Stop the ISM. He is an investigative journalist and contributor to Front Page Magazine, senior intelligence analyst and communications director for the Northeast Intelligence Network, and also heads Defending America for Knowledge and Action (DAFKA). He appears frequently in the US media.

Cables Show CIA Tried to Connect with Hamas Despite U.S. Ban

The US president, Barack Obama, threatened the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, according to the spy cables. Photograph: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images

The US president, Barack Obama, threatened the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, according to the spy cables. Photograph: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images

by IPT News  •  Feb 23, 2015:

Spy cables reveal that the CIA attempted to interact with Hamas, despite U.S. government prohibitions on contact with the designated Palestinian terrorist organization, the Guardian reports.

The cables, obtained by the Al Jazeerah network, indicate that American intelligence was eager to establish connections with Hamas and recruit agents within the Gaza Strip. According to the leaked documents, a CIA officer and South African intelligence agent met in East Jerusalem during fighting between Hamas and Israel. A cable sent to Pretoria on June 29, 2012 revealed that the CIA agent “seems to be desperate to make inroads into Hamas in Gaza and possibly would like SSA [the South African State Security Agency] to assist them in gaining access.”

In return, the South African agency suggested that the SSA would be able to access American intelligence priorities and understand CIA collection methods throughout the proposed interaction between the CIA and Hamas.

The CIA is prohibited from providing material assistance to a terrorist organization; however, attempting to recruit a spy from within a terrorist organization would be within the intelligence agency’s mandate.

“[The] CIA supports the overall US government effort to combat international terrorism by collecting, analyzing and disseminating intelligence on foreign terrorist groups and individuals. [The] CIA conducts those intelligence activities in compliance with the United States constitution, federal statutes and presidential directives,” a CIA spokesperson said.

Hamas On Campus

Published on Sep 30, 2014 by Hamas On Campus

The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is Hamas on Campus. An organization dedicated to wiping Israel off the map.

Hamas On Campus

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By Adam Kredo:

Anti-Israel activists at the University of California, Davis heckled Jewish students and shouted “Allahhu Akbar” at them during a vote last week on a resolution endorsing a boycott of the Jewish state, according to video of the event obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The commotion erupted late Thursday evening as pro-Israel students attempted to counter a student government resolution to divest from Israel as part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Activists waving Palestinian flags shouted at the Jewish and pro-Israel students as they left the meeting room ahead of an eight to two vote in favor of the divestment resolution, which is part of a larger movement by anti-Israel groups to attack Israel and pro-Israel students on campus.

“Allahhu Akhbar!” a large group of activists shouted in unison as the pro-Israel students filed out of U.C. Davis’ meeting room, according to video provided by a member of Aggies for Israel, a pro-Israel student group at Davis.

 

Following the vote, which was championed by the pro-Hamas group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), unknown vandals spray-painted swastikas on a fraternity house belonging to the Jewish AEPi organization.

Additionally, Azka Fayyaz, a member of the U.C. Davis student senate, posted on her Facebook page a triumphant message following the vote: “Hamas & Sharia law have taken over UC Davis.”

Read more at Washington Free Beacon

Egypt Labels Hamas’ Military Wing Terrorists

sissi-terror-e1414296567645IPT, by John Rossomando  •  Feb 2, 2015

An Egyptian court has labeled the Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, a terrorist organization.

“The court ruled to ban the Qassam Brigades and to list it as a terrorist group,” Judge Mohamed al-Sayid said Saturday in an interview with Reuters.

The decision came as a result of a suit brought by Egyptian attorney Samir Sabri that accused the Qassam Brigades of financing and participating in attacks in Egypt against police, military and other targets. Hamas has diverged from its goal of fighting Israel and now aims to undermine Egypt’s internal security, according to the Egyptian court.

The court’s decision centered on the Qassam Brigades’ alleged involvement in a series of terrorist attacks, including one in October that killed 31 Egyptian soldiers. Sabri’s suit also claimed that Hamas’ armed wing smuggled weapons and funds into Egypt through a network of tunnels.

Egyptian security forces expanded their buffer zone along the border with Gaza in November in an effort to crackdown on the terrorist group’s smuggling operations. They claim to have destroyed 1,600 tunnels since President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster in July 2013.

Egypt’s government blames the Qassam Brigades for the spate of terrorist violence in the Sinai by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a Salafi-jihadist group aligned with the Islamic State, which is believed to be responsible for hundreds of attacks in Egypt.

Last May, Egypt’s Supreme State Security Prosecution claimed that 200 suspects tied to Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis received training at camps run by the Qassam Brigades.

Last week, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis launched a series of attacks across the northern Sinai that killed 20 people, including civilians, and left 36 wounded. The attacks included a car bomb that detonated outside a military base and a series of mortar rounds that were fired at a hotel and several checkpoints.

Hamas dismissed the decision, labeling it as politics. Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called the ruling “dangerous” and claimed it only “serves the Israeli occupation,” also stating that the Qassam Brigades don’t have an interest in interfering with Egypt’s internal affairs.

Hamas deputy political leader Mousa abu Marzook denounced the ruling, calling the current Egyptian regime a “coup against the history, the ethics, and the principles of Egypt,” according to the Ma’an News Agency.

“Historically, the Qassam Brigades has never pointed their rifles at any of our people, especially our big sister Egypt and her army,” Marzook said.

A different court ruling from March banned Hamas from operating in Egypt. That came amid a crackdown on the terrorist group’s parent organization – the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood Inquiry: What’s Happening?

Gatestone Institute, by Samuel Westrop, January 23, 2015

There are several reasons the British government may be publishing only the “principal findings” of the report. First, some of the information gathered will have been done so by the intelligence services, so there are assets and agreements to protect. Another is the possibility that by revealing the scope of the Muslim Brotherhood network in full, the government would be revealing its own partnerships with Brotherhood organizations, and providing insights into the vast amount of public funds that has filled the coffers of Brotherhood charities.

“Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups in each country work according to a common vision — but in complete operational independence, making the Brotherhood an informal global movement. It’s what makes designating the whole movement a terrorist organisation virtually impossible in the UK, as authorities knew from the very beginning. But the lack of a ban does not equal an exoneration or an endorsement — hardly the general tone of the review.”

The British government will publish only the “principal findings” of an inquiry commissioned by the British government into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Although the former head of the MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, has described the Brotherhood as being, “at heart, a terrorist organization,” Brotherhood organizations in the UK have, nevertheless, long enjoyed the support of government ministers and taxpayers’ money.

Previous media statements have indicated that the report written for the inquiry, first commissioned in April 2014, has since sparked a great deal of argument between government ministers and officials and has led to a lengthy delay.

The biggest point of contention has reportedly focused on concerns over the expected reaction of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — both of which have recently designated the Muslim Brotherhood and some of its front groups as terrorist organizations – if the inquiry’s report is perceived to be a whitewash.

London, it seems, has long been an important hub for the Muslim Brotherhood. Over the past 50 years, Brotherhood members have established dozens of Muslim Brotherhood front organizations, including lobby groups, charities, think tanks, television channels and interfaith groups.

The secretary-general of the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, for example, Ibrahim Munir, is a resident of London. In 2013, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry al-Youm reported that Munir was providing funds to the Egyptian Brotherhood through British Brotherhood groups such as the Muslim Welfare House — but under the guise of fundraising for Palestinians in Gaza.

This government inquiry was established to examine not just the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain, but to understand better the workings of the worldwide Brotherhood network. This network is both big and nebulous. The inquiry sought to examine the network comprehensively, including the Brotherhood’s collaboration with other Islamic groups, such as Jamaat-e-Islami, a South Asian Islamist network that also has a strong presence in Britain.

Why, then, has the report been delayed?

The question that has dominated most British media reports of the inquiry’s findings has centered on the allegation of terrorism. The relationship between Western governments and the Brotherhood on this point has long appeared murky. In 2002, for instance, the United States government shut down the Holy Land Foundation, a Muslim Brotherhood fundraising group for the Hamas terrorist organization. And in 2011, FBI Director Robert Mueller told the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives: “I can say at the outset that elements of the Muslim Brotherhood both here and overseas have supported terrorism.”

At the same time, however, both the Bush and Obama administrations also sought to woo the Muslim Brotherhood. One anonymous Palestinian official, quoted in Asharq Al-Awsat, claimed: “The Americans mistakenly think that moderate political Islam, represented by Muslim Brotherhood, would be able to combat radical Islam.”

The inconsistency seems to have revolved around the Muslim Brotherhood’s connection to Hamas. Although Hamas’s 1988 covenant asserts that, “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine,” Western governments have nevertheless treated Hamas and the Brotherhood as unconnected entities — despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary.

In the United Kingdom, Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas networks appear to overlap heavily. In 2005, for instance, the British government handed over the running of London’s Finsbury Park mosque to the Muslim Association of Britain [MAB]. The Muslim Association of Britain was founded by Muslim Brotherhood activists including Kemal Helbawi, who described the Israel-Palestinian conflict as “an absolute clash of civilisations; a satanic programme led by the Jews and those who support them, and a divine programme carried [out] by Hamas … and the Islamic peoples in general.”

One of the trustees appointed to run the Finsbury Park mosque was Muhammad Sawalha, a fugitive Hamas commander who, according to BBC reports, is “said to have masterminded much of Hamas’s political and military strategy” from London. Yet the police and local government continue to fund the mosque with tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money.

Muhammad Sawalha, a fugitive Hamas commander who is “said to have masterminded much of Hamas’s political and military strategy” from London, is a trustee of the Finsbury Park mosque, which receives tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money. (Image source: inminds YouTube video screenshot)

By ignoring both the operational and ideological relations between the Brotherhood and Hamas, Western governments have been able to claim a dedication to opposing terrorism while at the same time courting Islamist allies, ostensibly to help fight the jihadist threat. By 2009, for instance, the British government provided the Muslim Welfare House, mentioned earlier, with £48,000 of “counter-extremism” funds. To this day, leading Islamist charities, established by Brotherhood figures, continue to receive millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.

The Muslim Brotherhood, without Hamas, has worked hard to present itself as a benign organization. It is the government’s apparent failure to demonstrate adequate evidence of connections to terrorism, some critics argue, that has led to the delay in publishing the inquiry’s report. The prominent newspaper journalist, Peter Oborne, has claimed that the report “had discovered no grounds for proscribing the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group… Publication of the report as originally written would infuriate the Prime Minister’s Saudi allies — and not just them. The United Arab Emirates have long been agitating for the defenestration of the Brothers…. The reason [for the delay] is simple: money, trade, oil, in a number of cases personal greed.”

Peter Oborne, a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, was, in fact, echoing the line taken by the Brotherhood itself. British Brotherhood operatives, such as Anas Al-Tikriti, recently placed an advertisement in the Guardian newspaper that claimed, “this review is the result of pressure placed on the British government by undemocratic regimes abroad, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.” The letter was signed by a number of senior Brotherhood activists, MPs, Peers and journalists — including Peter Oborne.

The “Saudi pressure” argument serves a useful purpose. There is not a lot that can undermine a government inquiry so much as an accusation of political leverage and foreign financial influence. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE regard the Muslim Brotherhood as a threat, and would like to see it suppressed. But neither the Saudis nor the Emiratis are naïve: both have worked to influence the British government for decades and both know how Westminster works. Hence, both know that it is extremely unlikely that the British government would ban the Muslim Brotherhood.

All that said, it is still possible to ignore Hamas and nevertheless link the Brotherhood to violence. In September 2010, the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, advocated violent jihad against the United States, and declared that, “the improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life… The U.S. is now experiencing the beginning of its end, and is heading towards its demise.” In 2013, Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters in Egypt attacked 70 Coptic Christian churches, and more than 1000 homes and businesses of Coptic Christian families were torched.

Banning the Brotherhood, however, is difficult for another reason. Security analyst Lorenzo Vidino writes:

“Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups in each country work according to a common vision — but in complete operational independence, making the Brotherhood an informal global movement. It’s what makes designating the whole movement a terrorist organisation virtually impossible in the UK, as authorities knew from the very beginning. But the lack of a ban does not equal an exoneration or an endorsement — hardly the general tone of the review.”

If the delay in the report’s release has been the product of political wrangling at all, the debate within Westminster is most likely over the influence of the Brotherhood upon extremism and radicalization, and with which groups the government should continue to work.

There is already some indication that changes are taking place. On December 18, 2014, the government announced publicly that two Brotherhood-linked Islamic charities, Islamic Help and the Muslim Charities Forum, were to lose their government grants over links to extremism. The Department for Communities and Local Government stated that it would not fund any group “linked to individuals who fuel hatred, division and violence.” This loss of funding followed a Gatestone Institute report investigating the Muslim Charities Forum’s links to extremism, which was subsequently picked up by mainstream British media.

Also in December, Islamic Relief, after being placed on terror lists by both the governments of the UAE and Israel, published an “independent audit,” claiming there was “absolutely no evidence” to link the charity to terrorism.

The British government, which has provided over £3 million of funding to Islamic Relief since 2013, offered little comment, but did publish, at the end of December, a document revealing that the UK government would match £5 million of donations to Islamic Relief until 2016.

Herein lies the contradiction. The Muslim Charities Forum is essentially a project of Islamic Relief. The present chairman of the Muslim Charities Forum, in fact, is Hany El Banna, who founded Islamic Relief, the leading member body of the Muslim Charities Forum. Islamic Relief, as the Gatestone Institute has previously revealed, has given platforms to the same extremists as those promoted by the Muslim Charities Forum, an act that led to its loss of funding. Why would the British government discard one charity while embracing the other? Is this perhaps a sign of further sleight-of-hand to come? Rather than sanction the Brotherhood as a whole, is the government likely in future to work only with sections of the Islamist network?

We have seen such posturing before. In 2009, Britain’s Labour government cut ties with the Muslim Council of Britain after some of its officials became signatories to the Istanbul Declaration, a document that calls for attacks on British soldiers and Jewish communities. The government has continued, however, to work with and fund interfaith groups partly managed by MCB figures and Istanbul Declaration signatories.

There are several reasons the British government may be publishing only the “principal findings” of the report. First, some of the information gathered will have been done so by the intelligence services, so there are assets and agreements to protect. Another is the possibility that by revealing the scope of the Muslim Brotherhood network in full, the government would be revealing its own partnerships with Brotherhood organizations, and providing insights into the vast amount of public funds that has filled the coffers of Brotherhood charities.

In spite of the expectedly unexciting report, the global Muslim Brotherhood still seems worried. Even the most benign report could damage the legitimacy upon which the Brotherhood thrives. Although unlikely, visas for Brotherhood residents in Britain could be revoked, and the report could produce a domino effect — sparking inquiries in other European countries. Evidently, the Brotherhood attaches great importance to its political and diplomatic connections and influence.

Because of the uncertainty surrounding the report, media misinformation and Brotherhood propaganda have been spreading. Back in April 2014, the British government’s announcement of the inquiry produced a great deal of noise. The actual scope of the inquiry and the possible consequences, however, were left to the imaginations of the many commentators and conspiracy theorists.

Consequently, just as the full findings of the report are unclear, so is its significance. If certain sections of the Brotherhood are declared unsuitable, it seems that the report might provide a useful opportunity for the British government — aided by new statutory powers for the Charity Commission and proposed new counter-extremism powers — to crack down on those parts of the Muslim Brotherhood which serve to accrue financial and political support for Hamas.

Thus far, for the government, the Muslim Brotherhood inquiry has been a PR disaster. The eventual publication of the inquiry’s report could provide an opportunity for the British government to end its continued support and funding for Britain’s Muslim Brotherhood charities, and to stop treating Brotherhood operatives as representatives of Britain’s Muslim community. It would indeed be a shame if the only outcome of the inquiry were an even cozier realignment with the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities.

TERRORIST NATION

Published on Jan 9, 2015 by TruthRevoltOriginals

From the murder of the Israeli athletes in the Munich Olympics in 1972, through the murder of 5 rabbis at prayer in 2014, the Palestinian cause has been driven by TERROR. In his latest Firewall Bill Whittle discusses their domestic front — Students for Justice in Palestine.

Rise of a Brotherhood Organizer: Deportation, Exile, and Return

1095743147Center for Security Policy, Jan. 7, 2015:

This piece continues the Center’s focus on the expanding role of the USCMO (United States Council of Muslim Organizations), the first political party in the U.S. to be openly affiliated with the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood. The emergence in 2014 of Sabri Samirah, a Jordanian banned from entry to the U.S. since 2003, but allowed back in eleven years later, as a key leadership figure and political organizer within the USCMO, marks an important stage in the Brotherhood’s “settlement process” as it seeks to expand its influence in American politics. The story of his rise through the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood and into the U.S. political scene follows.

Prior to his 2003 deportation from the United States, Samirah served as President of the United Muslim Americans Association (UMAA) from 1999 to 2003. Interestingly, and illustrative of the overlapping leadership typical of the Brotherhood’s U.S. network of organizations, the UMAA just happened to share office space with the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) in Palos Hills, Illinois. In a letter dated 1 November 2000, Samirah, President of the UMAA, wrote to Rafeeq Jaber, President of the Islamic Association for Palestine and Secretary General of the UMAA Board of Trustees, to tell him that “The IAP, and all of its workers, and supporters are carrying a mission of central importance in the faith, civilization, history, and future of Muslims, Arabs, and Palestinians in America and around the globe.” In addition to his UMAA presidency, Samirah simultaneously also had worked with Jaber and was Chairman of the IAP.

In Samirah’s capacity as a Muslim Brotherhood leader working for IAP and UMAA in the United States, it is essential to understand the connections between IAP and HAMAS and the Muslim Brotherhood nexuses for individuals who still hold positions of leadership today in the U.S.

In 1981, HAMAS operative Mousa Abu Marzook established the Islamic Association for Palestine, in part to create for HAMAS a U.S. organization that would be able to deny any links to HAMAS. On 8 October 1987, the United States Department of State (US DoS) designated HAMAS as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). The IAP later would be parent to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which was incorporated in 1994 by IAP leadership Nihad Awad, Omar Ahmad, and Rafeeq Jaber.

Per the US DoS, Foreign Terrorist Organizations are “designated by the Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  FTO designations play a critical role in the fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities.”

Under Section 219 of the INA as amended, the Legal Criteria for Designation of a FTO are as follows:

  1. It must be a foreign organization.
  2. The organization must engage in terrorist activity, as defined in section 212 (a)(3)(B) of the INA (8 U.S.C.  § 1182(a)(3)(B)), or terrorism, as defined in section 140(d)(2) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 (22 U.S.C.  § 2656f(d)(2)), or retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism.
  3. The organization’s terrorist activity or terrorism must threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security (national defense, foreign relations, or the economic interests) of the United States.

As shown by court documents, the IAP was a prong of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, until the U.S. government froze IAP’s assets and shut it down in December 2004 on grounds that it was funding terrorism. The IAP was named as one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s twenty-nine likeminded “organizations of our friends” in the May 1991 Muslim Brotherhooddocument “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America.”

Read more

Report: Qatar to banish Hamas’ Mashaal, who will relocate to Turkey

Hamas’ political bureau, is expected to leave his base in the Qatari capital of Doha and relocate to Turkey, Turkish press reports indicated on Tuesday.

Qatar has reportedly been under pressure from the international community to cease serving as a host of organizations considered by the West to be terrorist groups.

Hamas on Tuesday denied reports that Mashaal has been expelled from Qatar.

“There is no truth to what some media outlets have published over the departure by brother Khaled Meshaal from Doha,” Hamas official Ezzat al-Rishq told Reuters by telephone.

Another Hamas source confirmed that Mashaal was still in Doha and has no plans to leave the country.

The ruling family in Doha has been accused of providing financial and political support to Hamas and other extremist groups in the Middle East.

Last year, the emir of Qatar denied accusations that the Gulf sheikhdom is a sponsor and supporter of Islamist terrorist organizations.

In an interview with CNN, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani rejected suggestions that the groups that Doha was backing were terrorist in nature.

“We have to see the difference between movements,” Al-Thani told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “I know that in America and some other countries they look at some movements as terrorist movements. In our part of the region, we don’t.”

The Qatari leader did say that his government opposed “certain movements in Syria and Iraq,” a reference to the Islamic State. He denied accusations that Qatar was funding IS or that his government was turning a blind eye to private citizens’ activities in support of the group.

In the interview, Al-Thani never mentioned Hamas by name, despite the fact that his government is known to provide financial support to the Palestinian Islamist movement.

Israeli officials have denounced Qatar for backing Hamas.

Earlier this year, Israel’s envoy to the UN, Ron Prosor wrote an op-ed for The New York Times in which he deemed Qatar “the Club Med for terrorists.”

“In recent years, the sheikhs of Doha, Qatar’s capital, have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza,” Prosor wrote. “Every one of Hamas’s tunnels and rockets might as well have had a sign that read ‘Made possible through a kind donation from the Emir of Qatar.’”

Also see:

A Veteran Brother Emerges to Lead the USCMO Political Agenda

Sabri Samirah: screenshot is from his Facebook account on 6 July 2014

Sabri Samirah: screenshot is from his Facebook account on 6 July 2014

Center for Security Policy:

The U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) used the November 2014 midterm elections to advance a number of its operational objectives through mobilization of Muslim voters in Illinois. Sabri Samirah, a political analyst and leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, led USCMO efforts to “get out the vote” in Illinois. As will be recalled, Samirah, former chairman of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) in North America, a direct HAMAS off-shoot and the parent organization of CAIR (Council n American Islamic Relations), returned to Chicago, Illinois earlier in 2014 after 11 years in exile abroad. Samirah, no stranger to the Illinois political arena, quickly assumed leadership of several organizations: he is President of the newly-established American and Middle Eastern Affairs Center Think Tank (AMEAC) and CEO of theDevelopment Institute for Consultation & Training, LLC, (DICT). Prior to his 2003 deportation from the United States, Samirah previously had served as President of United Muslim Americans Association (UMAA) from 1999-2003. Now, playing on the same theme of Muslim unity, as Executive Director, he also heads another new organization called “UMMA” (not an acronym but the full name), established in September 2014 with its forthcoming website at www.OurUMMA.org.

Each of these organizations, described in more detail in following segments, played a role in the 2014 USCMO voter mobilization campaign and appears to be positioning itself to expanding that role further in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential elections. USCMO members actively helped coordinate a campaign to endorse statewide and federal political candidates viewed as accommodating toward Islam and shariah, including Illinois Republican Governor-elect, Bruce Rauner (who will be inaugurated in January 2015). This segment, the first of three, will highlight the emerging leadership role being played within the USCMO by Sabri Samirah.

While he is self-described as a “moderate, modern, Muslim, Arab American thinker;” Samirah has a history of associations with Muslim Brotherhood leaders who have called for the annihilation of worldwide Jewry and the nation of Israel. In 2003, the U.S. Department of State prohibited Samirah from entering this country within the scope of security measures implemented after the attacks of 11 September 2001. Officially, the “District Director of the Chicago INS Office, acting on behalf of the Attorney General, revoked his advance parole because the INS had received information that he was a ‘security risk to the United States.’” None of this prior background, however, deterred U.S. officials in 2014 from allowing him to return to the country, once again to take a key leadership position among Brotherhood-affiliated groups with a presence in Illinois and across the United States.

Just weeks after returning to the U.S., Samirah was a speaker at a 5 April 2014 fundraising dinner held by USCMO member group, the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). He was introduced as “a longtime global and national Palestinian activist.” Another role model singled out for praise at the event was Rasmieh Odeh, a convicted terrorist who spent ten years in an Israeli prison. At this AMP dinner, she was praised by master of ceremonies Rami Bleibel as “a great community member, a great member for the Palestinian cause.” Later, in November 2014, Odeh would be found guilty of illegally entering the U.S. in 1995 for failure to disclose her prior terrorist record in Israel. Following her October 2013 indictment, Odeh was charged with naturalization fraud and eventually found guilty in the federal court case USA v. Odeh, Rasmieh Yousef of illegally entering the U.S. in 1995, when she did not disclose either her PFLP affiliation or her conviction and prison time in Israel in paperwork filed with U.S. immigration authorities.

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“Palestine” and the ICC

by Reuven Berko
Special to IPT News
December 31, 2014

1108The Palestinian Authority’s latest unilateral attempt to gain recognition as a state without negotiating any concessions failed Tuesday. But other mischief remains in play, including Wednesday’s move to join the International Criminal Court(ICC).

Earlier this month, “Palestine” was upgraded from “observer entity” to “observer state” at the ICC. It was another milestone on the Palestinian Authority’s road to international recognition as a state without having to negotiate directly with Israel, make any concessions, or commit to a genuine dialogue for peace, a unilateral stem directly violating both the Oslo Accords and UN Resolution 242. Countries supporting the move know – but are apathetic to the fact – that their actions only reinforce the PA’s intransigence and destroy any motivation the Palestinians might have had to compromise on any issue that would bring about a just peace for both sides.

The Palestinian Authority’s dream to try Israel in the ICC for so-called “war crimes” in the Gaza Strip is the height of absurdity. The PLO won international recognition after it claimed to have abandoned terrorism against Israel. If its operational wing, the Palestinian Authority, manages to penetrate the international legal network, sign the Rome Convention and bring Israel to trial for its activities in the Gaza Strip, senior PLO and Palestinian Authority figures will immediately find themselves in the ICC accused of their own crimes.

The Palestinian national consensus government, with Rami Hamdallah as prime minister and Mahmoud Abbas as “president,” is a coalition with Hamas, whose suicide bombers blew themselves up in Israel on busy streets and in crowded public places and caused thousands of deaths and maimings, to say nothing of abducting and murdering three teen aged boys just six months ago. The Palestinian government is responsible for the war crimes committed by Hamas this past summer, including launching long-range rockets at densely populated cities, among them Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and sending its death squads to murder Israeli civilians indiscriminately.

Israel conducts military operations against Palestinian terrorism with pinpoint precision and in accordance with the best international legal and moral criteria. This past summer, as always, it warned the civilian population before it attacked terrorists, whose leaders had fled like rats into the basements of hospitals to wait out the war. In contrast, Palestinian terrorist organizations deliberately attacked the Israeli civilian population; they uttered no word of regret or sorrow, and certainly did not appoint a committee to investigate.

While Palestinians bemoan their failure to carry out a mass slaughter of Israeli civilians and destroy the country’s infrastructure, mainly thanks to the Iron Dome aerial defense system, Israel is undertaking a comprehensive examination of complaints lodged by Palestinians, Israelis and the international community regarding possible illegal actions taken by Israeli soldiers and officers during Operation Protective Edge.

No country comes close to Israel in following the letter of the laws of warfare. Arab countries, many of which are currently engaged in mutual slaughter, cannot even approximate Israel’s conduct when it comes to morality. Needless to say, no Palestinian or other terrorist organization has ever examined its own behavior the way Israel constantly does.

There are many Palestinians honest enough to admit – although not brave enough to do so publicly – that if they had the weapons Israel does, not one single Israeli would be left alive. Article 7 of the Hamas charter decrees the total annihilation of all the Jews in the world. Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas’ partner in the Palestinian national consensus government, had the unmitigated gall to stand before the UN General Assembly and accuse Israel of genocide.

Read more at IPT

Dr. Reuven Berko has a Ph.D. in Middle East studies, is a commentator on Israeli Arabic TV programs, writes for the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom and is considered one of Israel’s top experts on Arab affairs.

The Watchman Show: 2014 Year in Review

The Watchman, by Erick Stakelbeck, Dec. 30, 2014:

On this week’s edition of The Watchman, we take a look back at the major stories that shaped 2014: ISIS, Iran, Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, and much more. Plus, Middle East expert Jonathan Spyer joins us for a look ahead at what to expect in 2015.

BBC Asia interviews a Hamas leader on their ties with Iran and ambitions

By Vlad Tepes:

This is a significant interview and while it was supposed to be available in English by request, no request was answered by those who asked. Please download and spread this video by any and all means in case it is removed. It must be seen and understood. While it isn’t a ‘sexy’ video of psychos screaming, it is an extremely powerful person calmly discussing geopolitically significant matters such as nuclear weapons, genocide, strategic alliances and enmity as well as ambitions as well as the implementation of sharia in Gaza. Add to this recent demonstrations of Hamas’ alliance with Turkey and we see what could be a game changer in the region.

Qatar: A Change of Heart? Or merely rearranging the Camels?

qatar_awareness_campaign_logoBy William Michael:

An Update from the Qatar Awareness Campaign

Several recent news reports point to the possibility that Qatar, the host nation of the Muslim Brotherhood, may be genuine in their attempt to reconcile with their Arab neighbors.  After expelling the Qataris and isolating them diplomatically, the United Arab Emirate, Saudi Arabia, and even Egypt appear to have reached an accord with Doha.  The Nazi-rooted Muslim Brotherhood was long ago banished from Saudi Arabia (in the late 1920s), and Egypt has violently suppressed them many times, notably after the assassination of Sadat.  Yet the daily report out of the Middle East suggests that KSA, UAE, and Egypt may really welcome Doha back into the family.

Consider:

  • Yesterday, it was reported that Qatar pledged to stop funding Hamas – truly remarkable, if true.
  • A few months ago, they expelled prominent members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • An Interpol arrest warrant has been issued for Yusuf al-Qaradawi (the Muslim Brotherhood’s “spiritual leader”), and he will no longer broadcasting on Al Jazeera (if reports are to be believed).

It is possible that the month-long Qatar Awareness Campaign, which issued an open letter to nearly 30 companies, universities, individuals, and politicians who benefited financially from a relationship with terror-sponsoring Qatar, had something to do with this apparent change of heart.  The campaign identified Qatar as the primary sponsor of Islamic terror, with connections across the Middle East and North Africa to groups such as Hamas, ISIS, and Boko Haram.

But, there is another explanation for this apparent change of heart which, given Qatar’s two-faced nature, may be more realistic.

The MB could simply be shifting their bases of operation, leaving their financial hub, Qatar, alone (for the moment), thus providing their wealthy benefactor with the good press to alleviate them of the international pressure. For over the past four months, the world press had suddenly taken notice of the corrupt Gulf terror state, and its causing them trouble. FC Barcelona, for example, dropped their sponsorship deal Qatar Foundation over Qatar’s financing of Hamas.

The evidence for this “camel rearranging” is as follows:

  • Turkey, a close ally of Qatar and Muslim Brotherhood proxy themselves, welcomed the expelled Muslim Brothers from Qatar.
  • Qatar and Turkey recently reaffirmed their mutual support for “oppressed peoples” – i.e., Islamists in secularly governed countries, and Hamas in Gaza.
  • Other MB expelled from Qatar have gone to Libya, where the UAE/Egypt are in a proxy war with Qatar.
  • Hamas has been removed from the EU list of terrorist groups, providing more flexibility to terrorists in Palestine.
  • The White House (Obama) tacitly threatened to sanction Israel, and remains extremely hostile to Netanyahu.
  • Qatar’s reconciliation with their Gulf neighbors appears to be directly related to lower oil prices, which have crippled Russia’s economy and hurt Iran (Russia and Iran being no friends of Saudi Arabia).  This also directly affects Syria, a Russian and Iranian client state that is under siege by Qatar, the Muslim Brotherhood, elements in Saudi Arabia, and the Obama administration.
  • ISIS is preparing to attack Israel.

Another development to take into account is the increasingly sharp language of the conservative press aimed at Obama and the Islamists.  We may finally be reaching a point where, sooner or later, the mainstream press is going to have to face up to the possibility that Obama is not who he says he is, but in fact an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Consider, the cop killer in NYC worked for Islamic Society of North America, and the president of ISNA is a close Obama advisor, including to DHS and the National Security Council.  The truth is getting harder to ignore.  As many people who have spent the time investigating Obama’s roots and connections have determined, the real threat to world peace is not in fact Qatar, but the Obama administration.

Now is truly the time to make the case that the administration is the North American branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, Taliban, and Hamas.  It must be done for posterity, before it is too late!

Let the chips fall where they may – the future belongs to the brave.

Meshaal on point of relocating Hamas’ political headquarters from Doha to Tehran

13930311000529_PhotoIDEBKAfile:

Hamas’ political leader Khaled Meshaal, forced to quit his old headquarters in Damascus after abandoning his longtime host Bashar Assad and finding sanctuary in Doha – is again being hounded from pillar to post. DEBKAfile: A deal struck this week between Egypt and Qatar could result in the Hamas leader settling in the Iranian capital. This would afford Tehran a foothold in the Gaza Strip, its second Mediterranean outpost after Lebanon on the Israeli border.

The Egyptian-Qatar deal, revealed here by DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources, covers the future of the Muslim Brotherhood, the nemesis of Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisis, and its offspring, the Palestinian Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip. Their memorandum of understanding was concluded Wednesday, Dec. 24, in Cairo by a delegation of Qatari intelligence chiefs and the new Egyptian director of intelligence Gen. Khaled Fawzi. They spent most of the day hammering out its six points, which are listed here:

1.  Qatar withdraws its support from all Brotherhood operations against Egypt and Saudi Arabia;

2.  This point applies equally to any Hamas activity that may be interpreted as inimical to Egypt;

3.  Qatar’s assistance to Hamas will be limited to “civilian” projects (such as repairing war damage in Gaza), which too will be subject to President El-Sisi’s approval;

4. Given the close cooperation maintained at present between the Egyptian president and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on affairs relating to Gaza, Israel will implicitly have the right to disqualify certain Palestinian projects in the enclave;

5.  Qatar is to shut down the anti-Egyptian propaganda channel run by its Al Jazeera television station;

6.  The emirate is not required to sever all its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, just to keep them under control as its “strategic reserve.”

It is extremely hard to conceive of these two radical Islamist organizations bowing to the restrictions placed on their operations under the Egyptian-Qatari deal.

DEBKAfile’s sources add:  Brotherhood leaders have exited Doha and made arrangements to establish residence and a new center of operations in London, U.K.  Khaled Meshaal, after he was denied permission by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to set up shop in Istanbul, is on the point of a decision to relocate his offices in Tehran. Iran would thus gain a proxy foothold in the Gaza Strip, its second outpost on the Mediterranean after the first was provided by Hizballah in Lebanon. If Meshaal decided to settle in Tehran, Iran would acquire a handy springboard for action against Egypt and southern Israel.

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