Georgetown University and Radical Islamists: It’s a Family Affair

IPT News
March 28, 2017

Georgetown University’s Qatar campus is set to host Sami Al-Arian for a lecture tonight in Doha. According to a news release from the school’s Middle Eastern Studies Student Association, Al-Arian is a “civil rights activist” who hopes to challenge students to “make it a better, and more equitable and peaceful world.”

Those are charitable descriptions for Al-Arian, a documented member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Majlis Shura, or board of directors. According to the Islamic Jihad’s bylaws, which law enforcement agents found during searches of Al-Arian’s home and offices, there can be “No Peace without Islam.” The group’s objective is to create “a state of terror, instability and panic in the souls of Zionists and especially the groups of settlers, and force them to leave their houses.”

It’s an agenda Al-Arian took to heart. Following a double suicide bombing in 1995 that killed 19 Israelis, Al-Arian solicited money from a Kuwaiti legislator. “The latest operation, carried out by the two mujahideen who were martyred for the sake of God, is the best guide and witness to what they believing few can do in the face of Arab and Islamic collapse at the heels of the Zionist enemy…” he wrote.

“I call upon you to try to extend true support of the jihad effort in Palestine so that operations such as these can continue, so that the people do not lose faith in Islam and its representatives…” he wrote. Four years earlier, he spoke at a fundraiser in Cleveland, introduced as the head of the “active arm of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine.”

Why, then, is a Jesuit university, albeit at a campus in Qatar, hosting a leader of a designated terrorist group’s “active arm”?

There’s a family bond between Georgetown University and the Al-Arians. Son Abdullah is an assistant professor at Georgetown’s Qatar campus, teaching history in its School of Foreign Service. He earned his Ph.D. at Georgetown, writing his dissertation about the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood during the 1970s, a time his father acknowledges being part of the global Islamist movement.

Jonathan Brown, Al-Arian’s son-in-law, also works at Georgetown, as the [Saudi] Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization. Brown recently drew criticism for a lecture in which he argued that slavery isn’t inherently “morally evil” if the slave is treated well. He also minimized sexual consent as a recent social more, arguing no one is really free enough to grant consent anyway.

Property records show Brown and his wife Laila Al-Arian bought a modest house just outside Tampa in 2015. Brown also owns a $1.1 million house in Mclean, Va.

Brown’s boss, Georgetown University Professor John Esposito, has been a staunch Al-Arian defender. Al-Arian is “an extraordinarily bright, articulate scholar and intellectual-activist, a man of conscience with a strong commitment to peace and social justice,” Esposito wrote in a letter to a federal judge.

Brown’s slavery and sexual consent lecture was hosted by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) in Herndon, Va. The IIIT was a prime financial supporter of a think tank Al-Arian founded in Tampa called the World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE). It provided cover for at least three other members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Shura Council, including his brother-in-law Mazen Al-Najjar, an academic named Basheer Nafi and Ramadan Abdullah Shallah – the Islamic Jihad’s secretary general since late 1995.

Federal prosecutors wanted Al-Arian to tell a grand jury what he knew about the IIIT’s financial support for terrorists. He refused. Al-Arian was charged with criminal contempt after maintaining that stance even after a judge granted him immunity for his truthful testimony.

The case never went to trial. Al-Arian was deported to Turkey in 2015, pursuant to terms in his 2006 guilty plea connected to his Palestinian Islamic Jihad support. He now works as “director of the Center for Regional Politics at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University,” the Georgetown Middle East students group’s news release said.

Al-Arian is a computer scientist.

Sabahattin Zaim opened in 2010 and claims to have about 1,100 undergraduate students.

While the Georgetown University program is organized by a student group, promotional material lists Mehran Kamrava as moderator. Kamrava directs the Georgetown School of Foreign Service’s Center for International and Regional Studies.

His presence adds the university’s imprimatur to the Al-Arian event. In addition, the School of Foreign Service posted the news release promoting Al-Arian’s lecture.

Qatar has supported Hamas, the Islamic Jihad’s rival Palestinian terrorist group, providing money and refuge for Hamas leaders. In that light, Al-Arian’s invitation doesn’t seem out of place. But it is still an event hosted by a Georgetown University campus, moderated by one of its prominent faculty.

While Al-Arian has tried to deny his Islamic Jihad activities, or at least minimize them, his work to advance the group’s bloody ambitions is undeniable. He self-identified as the Shura Council’s secretary. In his plea agreement, he admits lying about Shallah’s prominent role in the Islamic Jihad.

During his 1991 remarks in Cleveland after his “active arm” introduction, Al-Arian urged donations for jihad. “Your brothers in Palestine are struggling with their beings,” he said, “so let us struggle here with our money.”

“This is the way of giving,” he said earlier. “This is the way of struggle. This is the way of battle. This is the way of jihad. This is the way of martyrdom. Thus is the way of blood, because this is the path to heaven.”

The student association’s news release failed to mention this background as a convicted felon, describing the former University of South Florida professor as a “civil rights advocate.” It fails to mention Al-Arian’s guilty plea, and whitewashes his resulting deportation to Turkey by saying “Al-Arian relocated.”

The federal judge who saw all the evidence against Al-Arian, who watched him lie about his true identity and violent ambitions, called him a “master manipulator.” Old habits die hard, apparently. The question in this case is whether Georgetown and its student groups are being duped or are witting accomplices in whitewashing a terrorist into a “human rights advocate.”

George Mason University Creates A “Safe Space” for Terror Supporters; Throws Anti-Jihad Activist in Jail

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After repeatedly searching for weapons, the police slapped handcuffs on them, targeting them for the content of their work.

CounterJihad, by Kyle Shideler, November 16, 2016:

Oleg Atbashian—or “Red Square,” as he is known to fans at the popular satirical website The People’s Cube—knows what it looks like when dictators crackdown on freedom of speech. As a former Soviet dissident who once agitated for the release of Andrei Sakharov, Oleg notes that he doesn’t “scare easily.” But now he faces five years in prison for his latest poster campaign, a fate he never faced in the Soviet Union.

Oleg, whose artwork frequently utilizes soviet-style aesthetics to criticize the totalitarian impulses of leftist and Islamist groups, was working on such a campaign at the campus of George Mason University. His sponsor, The David Horowitiz Freedom Center, sought to use his art to comment on the ongoing National Conference of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a rabidly anti-Israel student group.

But Students for Justice in Palestine isn’t your average student group. It’s organized and supported by American Muslim for Palestine (AMP), a group closely linked to Hamas terror finance groups, according to the congressional testimony of Terrorism analyst Jonathan Schanzer.

This year, the SJP’s early November two-day conference at George Mason was a source of debate between pro-Israel and anti-Israel student groups. The first day art campaign was uneventful, as Oleg placed stickers and handed out flyers.

On the second day, however, they realized that there were problems. According to Oleg, they overheard talk that campus police were on the look out for “suspicious” characters distributing flyers. Concerned but confident in the protection of the First Amendment, he proceeded with the project.

After successfully hanging several posters, utilizing a basic water-soluble wheat and water paste, together with commercially available stickers, Oleg and his partner were suddenly accosted by George Mason campus police, pulled over in their vehicle, detained and arrested.

According to Oleg, after repeatedly searching them for weapons, the police slapped handcuffs on them, and immediately targeted them for the content of their work,

My friend and I tried to be as friendly and cooperative as the situation allowed, but that had no effect. We were ordered to sit on the curb, as Officer Daniels told us that the content of our posters was violent and disturbing to some students, especially the one with the Hamas terrorist standing in pools of blood over his dead victims. Such interpretation flipped our message on its head entirely, turning it from sympathy for the victims of violence into a threat of violence.

Since offending the sensibilities of millennial college students is not yet an actual crime, the officers charged Oleg and his confederate with a Class 6 felony, “destruction of property worth over $2500”. The GMU campus police alleged (incorrectly) that the mixture used to hang the posters and stickers was “superglue,” and thus caused irreparable damage.

Oleg maintains the stickers and posters could be removed with a good rain and perhaps a little “Goo Gone,” solution and gladly volunteered to do exactly that.

Instead, Oleg and his partner spent the rest of the morning in the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center and were brought before a magistrate who ordered the artists’ bail set at $8,000. Now Oleg and his partner face up to five years in prison for the act of hanging protest posters.

It might seem surprising that a university—supposedly the bastion of free speech—would aggressively target an artist trying to get his anti-terrorism message out. But then, when it comes to such issues, George Mason University is no ordinary campus.

Not only did George Mason University host the Students for Justice in Palestine National Conference, but George Mason University was listed as #3 on a list of “The 10 Worst Anti-Semitic Campuses.”

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One of George Mason’s associate professors, Noura Erakat, is a founding member of the Students for Justice in Palestine group. Her husband, Bassam Haddad, is the University’s head of Middle East Studies. Both are active within the Students for Justice in Palestine group.

But George Mason may have financial interests in play as well. Beginning in 2008, George Mason University received the gift of $1.5 million dollars from the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a group whom federal agents say was tied to terror finance. The money was in order to establish an Islamic Studies department within their college of humanities.

The little known International Institute of Islamic Thought was founded by U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood members in the early 1980s to promote the idea of a clash of civilizations between Islam and the West, and to oversee a renaissance in Islamic thought that would lead to the “Islamization” of western social sciences.

But the group had an even darker side as well. According to the affidavit of a federal law enforcement officer, in 1991 IIIT transferred $50,000 to the World and Islamic Studies Enterprise, a front group established by Sami Al-Arian, the convicted organizer for the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad. According to a letter from then IIIT President Taha Jaber Alwani told to Al-Arian:

I would like to affirm these feelings to you directly on my behalf, and on behalf of all my brothers, Drs. Abdel-Hamid [AbuSulayman], Jamal [Barzinji], Ahmad [Totonji], and Hisham [Al-Talib], and, at the same time, affirm to you that when we make a commitment to you, or try to offer, we do it as a group regardless of the party or façade you use the donation for.

Speaking IIIT’s leaders, a federal law enforcement officer wrote, “Based on the evidence in this affidavit, I know that they are ardent supporters of [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] and HAMAS. They have repeatedly voiced their ideological support. I have seen repeated instances of their financial support, and believe that they have acted to conceal many other instances of their financial support.”

Of those named above, Barzinji and Al-Talib were actually present in 2008 to hand George Mason University the $1.5 million check.  Also present was Yacub Mirza, another IIIT member, College of Humanites and Social Sciences Advisory Board Member, and Trustee of the George Mason University Foundation.

An FBI report from 1988 notes Mirza as being connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. He played a central role in establishing the network of for-profits and non-profits that federal law enforcement said represented a classic example of money laundering techniques seeking to disguise the origin and destination of the funds the organizations like IIIT received.

Is it any wonder that Oleg Atbashian’s campaign, featuring the hashtag #StopCampusSupport4Terrorism, wasn’t welcome at GMU? Could it be that George Mason University may have monetary reasons for having its students remain blissfully unaware about who’s really behind a viciously anti-Israel student group?

For himself, Oleg lays the blame at the feet of old-fashioned political correctness, saying,

When political correctness comes into play, morality becomes blurry and justice switches the polarity. As a result, terrorist supporters ended up having a safe space and vigorous protection, while their non-violent opponents were subjected to brutal force, thrown in jail, and were robbed blind by the system.

As a satirist, it seems likely that Oleg sees the irony of being arrested for posting political posters and handing out “disturbing flyers” on the campus of a university named after the father of the Bill of Rights.

But as a Soviet dissident, he no doubt also recognizes that the repression of freedom begins when the organs of enforcement are used unequally in order to punish those who raise uncomfortable questions.

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How Far Do Iran’s Tentacles of Terror Reach?

A fighter from the Iranian backed Iraqi shiite militia group Asaib Ahl al Haq (The League of the Righteous). (Photo: © Reuters)

A fighter from the Iranian backed Iraqi shiite militia group Asaib Ahl al Haq (The League of the Righteous). (Photo: © Reuters)

Clarion Project, by Elliot Friedland, June 4, 2015:

The Islamic Republic of Iran operates a global network of terrorism, as far away from Iran as South America and the U.S.

It has carried out attacks worldwide on American and Jewish targets. The current defense minister orchestrated the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon which killed 241 American troops.

Iran’s Lebanese proxy Hezbollah was also behind the 2012 Burgas bus bombing in Bulgaria which killed five Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver, according to an inquiry led by the Bulgarian government.

In May 2013, a 500-page report by an Argentine state prosecutor named Alberto Nisman said Iran has an “intelligence and terrorist network” in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Trinidad, Tobago and Suriname and elsewhere.

He had been investigating a terrorist bombing of a Jewish community center in 1984 that killed 84 people. Iran and Hezbollah are believed to be behind the attack.

Nisman was found shot in the head in his apartment in January 2015, hours before he was due to present evidence that the President of Argentina was complicit in covering up Iran’s involvement in the attack.

So far police have been unable to determine if his death was murder or suicide. Many suspect that it was an organized assassination.

Iran has been on the State Department’s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism since 1984 and has consistently ranked as the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.

It supports a plethora of groups of different ideologies and sizes, trying to position itself as a pan-Islamic regional power. Iran has varied support for different groups over the years, depending on which best align with their strategic interests.

Among them are:

·         Al-Qaeda (International: SalafistWahhabi) – Since the early 1990s Iran has allowed members to operate freely in Iran and traffick fighters and materials through Iranian territory.

·         Hezbollah (Lebanon: Shiite-Khomeinist) – founded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and used as a proxy force against Israel and more recently, to shore up the ailing Assad regime in Syria.

·         Hamas (Gaza: Muslim Brotherhood) – Iran sends tens of millions of dollars as well as missiles and other armaments as part of its proxy-war against Israel.

·         The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) (West Bank: Secular-Left-wing) – Provided financial and logistical support as part of an effort to strengthen all “Palestinian resistance groups” opposed to Israel.

·         Palestinian Islamic Jihad (Gaza: Muslim Brotherhood splinter group) – Funded and trained the group since its foundation in 1981, but recently cut them off as the group failed to condemn the Arab League’s invasion of Yemen, where Iran is backing the Shiite Houthi rebels.

Iran also funds networks of Shiite militias in Iraq. Initially created to fight against the Americans during the Iraqi insurgency, some of the more powerful groups include Jaish al-Mahdi (Army of the Messiah or Mahdi Army) and its splinter group Asaib Ahl al-Haq (The League of the Righteous), Khitaeb Hezbollah and the Badr Organization.

They carried out attacks against the American forces in Iraq and now fight the Islamic State. They have also massacred Sunni civilians and have been accused of war crimes by rights groups.

An Amnesty International report entitled ‘Absolute Impunity’ details the atrocities perpetrated Iran’s Shiite militias in Iraq.

In some cases, Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) directly perpetrates acts of terrorism. Congress has even considered legislation requiring the State Department to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

The IRGC is currently on the Treasury Department’s list of Specially Designated Nationals involved in terrorism. It was added in 2007.

Its support of global terrorism is part of the Islamic Republic’s commitment to jihad, which is enshrined in the constitution. The preamble includes a commitment to “the establishment of a universal holy government and the downfall of all others.”

Unless this commitment changes neither will Iranian support of terror.

Join our campaign to say NO to a nuclear Iran. Join us on the right side of history.

Al-Arian Saves One Last Lie for the Road

IPT News
February 5, 2015

906Sami Al-Arian boarded a commercial flight late Wednesday night from Washington Dulles International Airport to Turkey, ending a 20-year con in which he posed as a mere academic and advocate for Palestinian nationalism. In reality, he was a board member in a terrorist organization who lied to his supporters about his true identity over and over again.

As early as 1994, he denied any connection with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) during an interview with Steven Emerson, now the Investigative Project on Terrorism’s executive director. It was a story he clung to until 2006, when he pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide goods and services to the terrorist group. But even then, he never acknowledged his leadership role or his commitment to violent jihad that was captured on video and documents seized by federal investigators.

True to form, he issued one last statement before his deportation – a condition of that 2006 guilty plea – in which he cast himself as a victim of political persecution who did nothing more than espouse unpopular views.

“Today,” he wrote, “freedom of expression has become a defining feature in the struggle to realize our humanity and liberty. The forces of intolerance, hegemony, and exclusionary politics tend to favor the stifling of free speech and the suppression of dissent. But nothing is more dangerous than when such suppression is perpetrated and sanctioned by government.”

That heartfelt farewell message failed to mention the PIJ, or his role as the secretary of its Majlis Shura, or board of directors. FBI intercepts show that he spent most of 1994 fighting with officials in Iran to keep the PIJ intact, in order for it to kill more people.

It’s no wonder U.S. District Judge James Moody, who presided over Al-Arian’s 2005 criminal trial, called him a “master manipulator” during a 2006 sentencing hearing.

“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 action of an organization, even the PIJ; and you were an active leader.”

Still, social media lit up with expressions of outrage over his case and sadness over his departure from the United States.

Al-Arian’s supporters embrace and adhere to a narrative of victimization. It’s a festival of ignorance, driven by a stubborn refusal to acknowledge the words that came out of his own mouth or were written by his own hand.

He was a well-regarded computer science professor at the University of South Florida. But he also took over a mosque in Tampa and named it for Ezzedin al-Qassam, the founding martyr of violent Palestinian nationalism. He created a charity and think tank that included three other PIJ Shura members.

During a 1991 fundraiser in Cleveland, Al-Arian sits passively as the local imam, Fawaz Damra, introduces him as the head of “the active arm of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine,” which is called the Islamic Committee for Palestine in the United States “for security reasons.”

Al-Arian later claimed, and supporters easily accepted, that he later took Damra aside to correct that representation. But in his remarks that day, Al-Arian hailed the Islamic Jihad as the spark which triggered the Palestinian uprising in the 1980s. It started, he said, when PIJ operatives escaped from an Israeli jail.

“God, praise and glory be to Him, commands us to fight and commands us to jihad, because there is honor in it and because there is victory for Islam and victory for right over tyranny.”

In that same appearance, he urged protests against the United States over the Persian Gulf crisis and urged “Let us damn America. Let us damn Israel. Let us damn their allies until death.”

Damra, later convicted of naturalization fraud and deported for concealing his own links to PIJ and other terror associations, took the microphone back, urging donations “[f]or Islamic Jihad, I say it frankly: for Islamic Jihad … And whoever wants to write a check, he can write it in the name of the Islamic Committee for Palestine, “ICP” for short.

At a rally in Chicago five months later, Al-Arian again praised the PIJ role in sparking the Palestinian Intifada, and made clear where he thought it should lead.

These statements cannot be reconciled against Al-Arian’s long and well-crafted image as a peaceful advocate for Palestinians. The only recourse for supporters, then, is to pretend they do not exist.

That’s how The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald and Maz Hussain could describe Al-Arianas the victim of a “decade-long campaign of government persecution in which Al-Arian was systematically denied his freedom and saw his personal and professional life effectively destroyed.” It’s how the Muslim Legal Fund for America could say he was the victim of government persecution solely for “First Amendment activities advocating for Palestinian human rights.”

It’s how the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) could justify honoring Al-Arian and his family with a “Promoting Justice” award in November.

One of the foundations for the “persecution” claim was the mix of acquittals and hung-jury counts in Al-Arian’s 2005 trial. His plea agreement is cast as a way to spare his family further anguish. But in it, Al-Arian admits that he “performed services for the PIJ in 1995 [when an executive order made such support illegal] and thereafter.”

In addition, a similar case involving Hamas-support by a Texas-based charity with a similar original outcome ended with sweeping convictions following a retrial.

The verdict does not make the documents and statements showing overt PIJ support disappear. A key document Al-Arian and his supporters would like to wish away is thePalestinian Islamic Jihad’s bylaws. While Hamas openly published its charter shortly after its foundation, Israeli officials did not know PIJ had a similar document until federal agents seized it from Al-Arian in 1995.

Among the “political constants” defined in the document: “The rejection of any peaceful solution for the Palestinian Cause, and the affirmation of the jihad solution and the martyrdom style as the only option for liberation.” Its goals are quite clear.

Fax communication intercepted by the FBI showed Al-Arian was a PIJ board member. He stood for this. Until he acknowledges this reality, there is no reason to believe his views have moderated.

He hadn’t changed in 1995, when he hand-wrote a letter to a Kuwaiti official invoking a double suicide bombing to “try to extend true support for the jihad effort in Palestine so that operations such as these can continue.”

“Preserving the spirit and flame of jihad against the enemy is a general Islamic responsibility and cannot be left to rest upon the shoulders of the few among our nation,” he wrote.

He claimed he never sent the letter, but investigators found a copy in his home seven months later.

Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, one of the Shura members whose stay in America wassponsored by Al-Arian, emerged as the PIJ secretary general in Damascus nine months after those words were written. Shallah holds the same position today.

When reporters called to ask Al-Arian about his associate’s new job, he lied and claimed to be as surprised as anyone and suggested it was someone else with a similar name.

The lies didn’t end with the guilty plea or Judge Moody’s scorn. While serving out the remainder of his sentence, Al-Arian refused to testify before a federal grand jury in Virginia that was investigating terror financing. His plea agreement, he insisted, was predicated upon a promise that he would never have to “cooperate” with the government.

It didn’t matter that he and his attorneys could not point to a single reference to such a pledge in the plea agreement, during the 2006 hearing in which the guilty plea was accepted, or during his sentencing. In both hearings, judges specifically asked whether he acted due to any additional promises. He said no.

Despite the absence of any proof and two appellate court rulings against Al-Arian on the matter, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema refused to either grant a defense motion to dismiss the case or let it proceed to trial. After five years of judicial inactivity, prosecutors dropped the contempt charge last summer, clearing the way for this week’s deportation.

1127He returned to political activity, however, showing up at pro-Muslim Brotherhood events in December 2013 and again last week when he attended a forum for a visiting delegation including Brotherhood officials at the National Press Club.

Al-Arian reportedly is in Istanbul, Turkey. While he had no previous connection to the state, Turkey has become a key operating base for Hamas, a rival Palestinian terrorist group. Hamas operative Saleh Al-Arouri is suspected of plotting several terrorist attacks from his base there, and Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal reportedly moved therein recent weeks from Qatar.

Report: Al-Arian to be Deported Wednesday

IPT News
February 3, 2015

1008Sami Al-Arian, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)’s governing board during the 1990s, will be deported from the United States Wednesday, a Tampa radio station reports.

WUSF, a public radio affiliate at the university where Al-Arian worked as a tenured computer science professor, cites Al-Arian associates who say he is headed to Turkey.

Al-Arian agreed to leave the country as a condition of his 2006 plea agreement for conspiring to provide goods or services to the PIJ, which President Clinton first named as a terrorist organization in a 1995 executive order.

The deportation ends a 20-year saga for Al-Arian, who was first exposed as a PIJ supporter in the Polk Award winning documentary “Jihad in America” produced by IPT founder and Executive Director Steven Emerson.

Under President Tayyip Recep Erdogan, Turkey has moved closer to radical Islamic movements including the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Several key Hamas leaders are believed to be operating in Turkey, many, like Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal, recently were asked to leave Qatar.

Al-Arian became a cause celebre among Islamists and their political allies. They ignored his documented role in PIJ leadership, and cast the law enforcement scrutiny against him as the product of an Israeli conspiracy to silence him solely for espousing his political views.

While a University of South Florida professor, Al-Arian created a charity and a think tank that operated nearby. The think tank, called the World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE), provided cover and refuge in Tampa to Ramadan Shallah (as Ramadan Abdullah), who emerged in Syria as the PIJ secretary general in 1995. Shallah remains in that position today.

Like Al-Arian, Shallah served on the PIJ Shura Council – essentially its board of directors – during his time in the United States. Al-Arian also helped arrange U.S. visas for two other Shura Council members – Mazen al-Najjar and Basheer Nafi – both were deported.

The charity, the Islamic Committee for Palestine (ICP), hosted annual conferences and other events from 1988-92 that featured prominent figures from PIJ and other radical groups. The PIJ’s spiritual leader, Abdelaziz Odeh, was a staple at these events. At this 1991 event in Cleveland, Al-Arian sits passively as the ICP is described as the PIJ “active arm” in America. Donations for the jihad can be sent to the ICP.

Four years later, in the wake of a double-suicide bombing that killed 21 people in Israel, Al-Arian wrote to a Kuwaiti associate soliciting money for the PIJ. Federal investigators found a copy of the letter in Al-Arian’s home during a 1995 federal raid. Al-Arian claimed he never sent the hand-written solicitation, in which he urges his acquaintance “to try to extend true support of the jihad effort in Palestine so that operations such as these can continue.”

1123But it was only after he was under federal investigation for terror support that Al-Arian developed real political clout. Casting himself as the victim of government overreach, he made contacts on Capitol Hill and was considered someone who might help steer Muslim voters toward political candidates, including George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign.

His 2005 trial ended with a mix of acquittals and counts on which jurors could not unanimously reach a verdict. Rather than face a retrial, Al-Arian entered his guilty plea to one conspiracy count.

As U.S. District Judge James Moody said in sentencing Al-Arian in 2006, “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.”

His deportation was delayed after he was found in contempt and later indicted for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury in Virginia investigating terrorist financing despite a grant of immunity for his truthful testimony. That case languished for five years when U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema refused to rule on a motion to dismiss but also would not set the case for trial.

Prosecutors dropped the case last June, paving the way for Wednesday’s removal.

Days Before UAE Terror Designation, CAIR Awards PIJ Board Member

IPT News
November 20, 2014

1097Officials at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have expressed astonishment and confusion over a decision by the United Arab Emirates to include the American-Islamist organization on a list of terrorist groups.

“Well this is shocking to us in the first place,” CAIR co-founder and Executive Director Nihad Awad told CNN Tuesday. “It’s a bizarre move by the UAE and that’s why we’re seeking clarification by this decision, not only CAIR but other civil Muslim organizations including Muslim American Society and the largest Islamic relief organization for Muslims in the West. So it is quite frightening and shocking that a state like the UAE would designate an American civil rights and advocacy organization like CAIR.”

The terrorist list was first reported by Buzzfeed on Saturday, which cited a UAE state media announcement.

One week earlier, a CAIR banquet in California bestowed its “Promoting Justice” award to Sami Al-Arian and his family. Al-Arian was on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Shura Council – its board of directors – in the 1990s and provided refuge to at least three other board members in the United States, including current PIJ Secretary General Ramadan Shallah.

During a 1991 speech in Cleveland, Al-Arian was introduced as the head of a charity called the Islamic Committee for Palestine. “A brief note about the Islamic Committee for Palestine,” Imam Fawaz Damra explained to the audience. “It is the active arm of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine. We preferred to call it the “Islamic Committee for Palestine” for security reasons.” [Emphasis added]

[see video]

During a later fundraising session, Damra urged the audience to give to the Islamic Jihad, invoking a recent attack by one of its members. “And whoever wants to write a check,” Damra said, “he can write it in the name if the Islamic Committee for Palestine, ‘ICP’ for short.”

Four years later, in the wake of a double-suicide bombing in Israel that killed 21 Israelis, Al-Arian wrote a letter to a Kuwaiti legislator seeking money “for the jihad effort in Palestine so that operations such as these can continue…”

Al-Arian has claimed that the letter was never sent. But it was handwritten in Arabic and signed, and a copy was kept in his home, where federal agents found it during a November 1995 search.

“The evidence was clear in this case that you were a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” U.S. District Court Judge James Moody told Al-Arian during a 2006 sentencing hearing. “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 pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide goods or services to the PIJ. His plea agreement included an admission that he was associated with the PIJ. But he has never acknowledged the depth of his involvement, and certainly never disavowed the group’s bylaws, which were found in his home and call for: “The rejection of any peaceful solution for the Palestinian Cause, and the affirmation of the jihad solution and the martyrdom style as the only option for liberation.”

The bylaws include a goal of creating “a state of terror, instability and panic in the souls of Zionists and especially the groups of settlers, and force them to leave their houses.”

CAIR officials know all of this. They have stood by Al-Arian’s side for nearly two decades possessing that knowledge. They also know his plea agreement includes his agreement to be deported.

In introducing the award Nov. 8, CAIR San Francisco Vice President Maleeha Haq explained that “the Al-Arian family was a natural choice. For over 11 years now they have been at the center of an unjust campaign by the government. Alhamdulillah, the government decided to finally dismiss all of their unfounded charges against Dr. Sami Al-Arian. However, he remains in limbo awaiting deportation proceedings.”

Al-Arian thanked CAIR for the award and challenged the audience to fight against law enforcement sting operations, which he said unfairly target and entrap Muslims.

But the only way to stop it… is through a public organization campaign to change the government,” Al-Arian said in a video message. “Brothers and sisters, our young men should not be sacrificed at the altar of Islamophobia or a fake war on terror. Our people should not be targeted because of their beliefs or associations. We should say no to thought crimes, no to preempted or pre-crime prosecutions … This is a crisis that our community has been ignoring for so long, and we must face up to this challenge. Brothers and sisters, ladies and gentlemen – if not you, then who? If not now, when?”

Awad, the CAIR national executive director, also spoke during the banquet at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Despite consistent FBI data showing hate crimes against Muslims remain relatively steady, and far less of a problem those targeting Jews, blacks and gays, Awad had a dire warning for his audience.

“Islamophobia is a national crisis for the Muslim community,” he said. “Islamophobia is an existential threat to the presence and the future of Islam and the future, and the freedom of religion for Muslims in this country.”

The terrorist designation by the UAE, a Muslim nation, wouldn’t be announced for another week. The designation reportedly stems from CAIR’s connections with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. In his CNN appearance Tuesday, Awad dismissed that as a fantasy.

“We were never linked to the Muslim Brotherhood,” he insisted. “We are not. We are an independent American organization. But guilt by association should not just be taken easily by these governments.”

Internal Muslim Brotherhood documents tell a different story. They place Awad individually and CAIR as an organization inside a Brotherhood-created Hamas support network in the United States that was called the Palestine Committee.

Awad participated in a secret 1993 Palestine Committee strategy session in Philadelphia called to devise ways to “derail” the new U.S.-brokered Oslo peace initiative without exposing themselves as Hamas supporters. Awad even referred to Hamas in the code name organizers instructed, reversing the spelling and calling it “Samah.”

Those connections were enough to prompt the FBI to cut off all outreach communication with CAIR in 2008. A federal judge determined there was “ample evidence to establish” a connection between CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian offshoot Hamas.

At the banquet, Awad acknowledged the contributions to CAIR by co-founder and former national chairman Omar Ahmad, described by an FBI agent as “a leader within the Palestine Committee.”

The UAE’s terror designation doesn’t mean CAIR is actively plotting attacks. But as we have repeatedly demonstrated, it has no problem standing by those who enable terrorism through fundraising, propaganda and more. People like Al-Arian, or the Holy Land Foundation leadership, or convicted Palestinian bomber Rasmieh Odeh.

CAIR’s timing, awarding a PIJ director just before the UAE labeled CAIR as terrorists, doesn’t do much to bolster CAIR’s complaints that it is being unjustly tarnished.

Palestinian Incitement, Attacks, Glorification

IPT News

November 18, 2014

The recent spike in Palestinian terrorist attacks targeting Israelis throughout the country occur amid growing incitement to violence and glorification of terrorism emanating from Palestinian Authority and Fatah officials and institutions. Tuesday’s heinous attack on a Jerusalem synagogue was the “direct result” of that campaign, said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

 

Within hours, Palestinian social media featured images glorifying the bloody slaughter of Jews while they worshipped.

“Jerusalem is thirsty, and this thirst will be quenched with blood.”

What follows is a list of recent attacks and examples of the incitement and glorification prominent in Palestinian social media outlets.

Most of the violence has centered in Jerusalem, as Palestinians continue to engage in rock throwing, Molotov cocktail attacks, and rioting in the capital and surrounding neighborhoods. The following section outlines major Palestinian terrorist attacks targeting Israelis in recent weeks.

  • November 18, 2014: Two Palestinian terrorists stormed a Jerusalem synagogue armed with a meat cleaver and a gun during morning prayer, killing four Israeli rabbis and seriously injuring at least eight other worshippers. Three victims, Moshe Twersky, Aryeh Kupinsky, andKalman Levine were dual American-Israeli citizens, and one, Avraham Goldberg, was a British-Israeli national, according to Israeli police.
  • November 10, 2014: The IDF discovered an explosive device north of Jerusalem in the West Bank, between the Jewish communities of Psagot and Beit El.
  • November 10, 2014: Palestinian terrorists stab Israelis in separate incidents, killing a young woman and a soldier. In the first incident, a Palestinian man stabbed an Israeli soldier, Almog Shilony, in Tel Avivwho later succumbed to his injuries. Police arrested the suspect, 18 year-old Nur al-Din Abu Khashiyeh, from Nablus, who was staying in Israel illegally. Hours later, another Palestinian terrorist attacked Israelis with a knife, killing a young woman, Dalia Lemkus, after stabbing her in the neck and injuring two others at a bus stop in the West Bank community of Alon Shvut. Hamas identified the Alon Shvut attacker as Maher Hamdi al-Ashalmoun from Hebron, who was released previously as a security prisoner. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization later claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • November 10, 2014: An Arab-Israeli mob attacked a car with rocks in the town of Taibe and set it on fire. An Arab-Israeli, Majdi Baloum, rescued the victim by pulling him out of his car.
  • November 6, 2014: Bullets struck an Israeli police cruiser driving north of Ramallah. There were no reported injures and security personnel searched for the shooter.
  • November 5, 2014: A Palestinian terrorist rammed his car into a crowd of Israeli pedestrians in Jerusalem killing a Border Police officer, Jidan Assad, and injuring 14 other people. A 17-year-old student later died of his injuries. The terrorist, Ibrahim al-Acri, a Hamas operative, then crashed into another group of pedestrians and got out of his car and tried to attack more civilians with a metal bar. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack, referring to al-Acri as a “martyr” who conducted “a heroic operation.”
  • November 5, 2014: A Palestinian driver crashed into a group of IDF soldiers in the West Bank hours after a separate deadly vehicular attack in Jerusalem. One of the soldiers was wounded critically.
  • October 29, 2014: A Palestinian man shot American-Israeli Rabbi Yehuda Glick in front of Jerusalem’s Menachem Begin Heritage Center. The suspect was killed the following morning after Israeli counter-terrorism forces surrounded his house and were fired upon. Israeli police discovered evidence that the suspected terrorist was involved in the Glick shooting.
  • October 22, 2014: A suspected Hamas member crashed his car into a crowd of Israelis exiting the light rail station in Jerusalem, killing a three month-old American-Israeli girl, Chaya Zissel Braun, a woman from Ecuador, Karen Jemima Mosquera, and injuring eight others.

Attempts to goad Palestinians into a new intifada quickly evolved from the more routine mayhem (Molotov cocktails and rock throwing) to a more aggressive approach recently termed ‘car intifada’ (quotes and photos). Art posted on Twitter urges more attacks be carried out. Among the examples:

The ‘car intifada’ recently has been amended to include a ‘Knife Intifada,’ as first reported by Khaled Abu Toameh. Several car attacks have been followed up by stabbings. It is thought that the stabbing in Alon Shvut was meant to be a car attack but was thwarted by a preventative cement barrier.

Some of the Twitter posts have edifying art work.

“Stab!”
“Arise and Resist”

The idea for knife intifada may have been inspired by Hamas: “Even he who owns nothing but his faith has a kitchen in his house in which he has a knife,” Fathi Hamad, a leader of Hamas, said in a Nov. 5 television interview. “He must grab his knife and confront the Zionist enemy.”

Recent Examples of Palestinian Authority/Fatah Incitement to Violence

In light of increasing terrorist attacks, Netanyahu has repeatedly accused the PA and Hamas of inciting violence against Israeli citizens. The following section outlines key examples of Palestinian Authority and Fatah sanctioned incitement to violence and glorification of terrorism in recent weeks:

  • After the shooting of Rabbi Yehuda Glick, Abbas sent a condolence letter to the family of terrorist Mutaz Hijazi who was killed by Israeli authorities in a firefight during a raid for his capture. In the letter, Abbas called the terrorist a “Shahid,” a martyr who “rose to Heaven while defending our people’s rights and holy places,” according to PMW.
  • A senior Fatah official claimed responsibility for the attempted assassination. Adnan Ghaith, director of the Fatah branch in Jerusalem, admitted that the terrorist was a Fatah operative and was proud of his actions, according to an exclusive interview to the Quds [News] Network translated by PMW.
  • “The Martyr (Shahid) Mutaz Hijazi, who carried out the assassination attempt, was a member of Fatah and one of its activities in [Jerusalem]. Since his release from the occupation prisons in 2012 [until his death], he participated in all the [Fatah] movement’s events, and was active in it,” Ghaith said. “We in Fatah are not ashamed to take responsibility for the heroic act he carried out today, for it was a natural reaction to the occupation’s crimes against Jerusalem and its holy places.”
  • Abbas adviser and Fatah Central Committee member, Sultan Abu Al-Einein, also praised the terrorist on his Facebook page. “Your bullets were a beacon [on] a path that had become dark, the light of which will continue to shine for years to come,” Sultan wrote on November 3. Al-Einein also praised the terrorist who killed three-month-old American Israeli Haya Zissel-Brown and injured eight others following the terrorist attack. Al-Einein, Abbas’ adviser, referred to the terrorist as a “heroic Martyr” on his official Facebook page, PMW reported.
  • Abbas’ Fatah movement also praised the terrorist by posting an obituary on its official Facebook page, also referring to the killer as a “heroic Martyr” and portraying his death as “his wedding.” The “wedding” reference relates to the Islamic belief that Martyrs for Allah are married to 72 virgins in the afterlife. Mahmoud Al-Aloul, a member of Fatah Central Committee, also re-posted the glorification on his personal Facebook account. Al-Einein’s past glorification of terrorists led five U.S. Congress members to demand that Abbas fire his adviser and condemn this sentiment, to no avail.
  • Fatah’s official Facebook page explicitly encourages Palestinians to conduct similar vehicular attacks on Israelis. On November 6, Fatah’s main page featured a cartoon referring to “the run over organization” (a play on words for the Arabic word for “run over” – da’es and the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State terrorist group based in Iraq and Syria –Da’esh), according to the PMW. The cartoon urges Palestinians to “Hit the gas at 199 [km/h] for Al-Aqsa.” Fatah advocated for the “run over” term to proliferate into a new popular hashtag (#Da’es) on social media, in an effort for the phrase to be adopted by social media users and the terrorist action carried out. Another official Fatah post calls for Palestinians to “Run over, friend, run over the foreign settler!”, referring to any Israeli citizen.
  • Palestinian Authority TV broadcasted a video of Mahmoud Abbas’ calling for Palestinian to prevent Jews from going to the Temple Mount compound “in any way,” according to PMW. The video was shown 19 times in three days, playing a clip of Abbas’ October 17 speech, which implicitly calls for Palestinians to use violence against Israelis.
  • In the same week, a terrorist killed a three-month old American-Israeli girl and a young Ecuadorian woman while hundreds of Palestinians participated in violent riots.
    Click here to view the PA video clip. By incorporating phrases such as “in any way” and “using all means,” the PA is explicitly calling for violence and terrorism.
  • The incitement has been so blatant that it elicited a response from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which called on President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and other political and religious leaders to condemn Abbas’ incitement against Jews visiting their own holy places.
  • The National Security Forces of the Palestinian Authority posted a cartoon depicting an Israeli soldier about to rape the Al-Aqsa Mosque, portrayed as a female in prison, according to PMW. The cartoon woman is crying in a jail cell as the Israeli soldier is preparing to remove his pants outside the cell. The soldier is depicted as saying: “Come on, sweetheart.” The text of the cartoon reads: “Daily cartoon: Al-Aqsa is being raped.”
  • Two cartoons printed in Abbas’ official Palestinian Authority daily, Al-Hayah Al-Jadida, entice Palestinians to strike Israelis with stones, according to PMW. One cartoon depicts a father and son at the entrance to the Dome of the Rock as the father gives his son a slingshot as the text reads: “Purification before Prayer is performed with stones.”
  • On October 30, Fatah officially declared the next day to be a “Day of Rage,” calling on Palestinian “fighters” to engage Israelis in Jerusalem, according an official PA news agency report, WAFA, translated by Palestinian Media Watch.

Palestinian and Israeli Arab Incitement

  • Palestinian social media routinely features graphic and violent tweets calling on Palestinians to run over and kidnap Jews.
  • Palestinian social media users directly refer to a “Car-Intifada” in Arabic as a trending topic and the “run over” (Da’es in Arabic described above) hashtag is increasingly popular and widespread.
  • Palestinian singers released a song encouraging hit and run terrorist attacks, explicitly glorifying the murder of the American-Israeli baby on November 6. “Run over the two month old baby – that is how we get them,” and “For Al-Aqsa we will run over settlers” are two of the shocking lyrics in the song written by Anas Garadat and Abu Khayad that is gaining traction in Palestinian social media.
  • The head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheik Raed Salah, called for Jerusalem to be “the capital of the global Caliphate” during a Friday sermon, according to a Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) report.
  • “Inshallah, Jerusalem will soon become the capital of the global Caliphate. The Caliphate will spread justice throughout the land, after it was filled with injustice by America, the Zionist enterprise…,” Salah said during his speech in Nazareth.
  • A new Israeli Arab movement, Kifah (“struggle”) held its founding conference on November 1. It calls for a Pan-Arab Palestinian organization that supports “resistance” calls for the descendants of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel, and advocates for the “homeland’s liberation,” according to MEMRI.
  • A gruesome poster depicting a dead Israeli and a bloody knife featuring the text “Jerusalem is thirsty, and this thirst will be quenched with blood”, is circulating on Palestinian social media.

Hamas

  • After terrorists carried out a massacre in a Jerusalem synagogue on November 18, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri praised the attack on Facebook, referring to it as a natural reaction to the “occupation” and called for more similar attacks against Israelis. Another Hamas spokesman, Mushir al-Masri, posted a photo of the terrorists, calling them heroes and the terrorist attack a “heroic action.”
  • The Hamas affiliated Shehab News Agency published this graphic photo encouraging similar terrorist attacks against Jews.
  • In calling for further attacks, Al-Masri posted a graphic cartoon depicting the brutal terrorist attack in the synagogue showing Jews piled up after being stabbed by Palestinians while other Jews flee in panic.
  • After claiming responsibility for the November 5 car attack, Hamas called for more terrorist attacks against Israelis. “We call on the people of Jerusalem and the West Bank and all of the Palestinians to carry out more of these activities with full force in order to defend al-Aksa,” according to a Hamas’ statement released November 5.
  • PalInfo, considered an unofficial site for Hamas,[1] published an assassination ‘hit list’ on Twitter naming several Israeli cabinet members, including their photos and details.
  • Following the murder of the three-month old American-Israeli girl on October 22, an official Hamas statement refers to the infant as a “female settler,” and urges Palestinians to escalate the confrontations’ against Israel in various locations, according to an Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) translation.

In light of Israel’s response to the attacks and mounting tension over the Temple Mount, the Palestinian Authority has called on the United Nations to “adopt a position to call on the Israeli government to stop all these activities and policies of provocation and incitement.”

As the recent spike in Palestinian terrorist attacks shows – Tuesday’s slaughter being just the latest example – the lethal impact from provocation and incitement is being felt most heavily among Israeli civilians.