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July 17, 2002
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Some American Muslims support the Palestinian Islamic Jihad

The National Review (www.nationalreview.com) has a good article that explains why American Muslims have been opposing the latest FBI rules to fight terrorism.

Why are Muslim and Arab "civil rights" groups the only ones protesting new FBI rules to fight terrorism?

Why aren't mainstream Christian and Jewish groups protesting the new guidelines handed down by Attorney General John Ashcroft and his Justice Department? Or Hispanic groups?

Maybe because Muslim, mostly Arab, terrorists including at least two 9/11 hijackers deliberately used U.S. mosques to fundraise for and plan terrorist attacks. Maybe because they knew that, under the old rules, it had been difficult for FBI counterterrorism operatives to surveil terrorists once they stepped into the mosques. And they, the terrorists and many Muslim allies in the U.S. took advantage of this. [...]

Al-Arian raised money to fund his terrorist operations in mainstream mosques all over America, videotapes show, with the willing participation of the mosques' imams (religious leaders) and congregants. In one video, Fawwaz Abu Damra, Imam of the Islamic Center of Cleveland, is shown introducing Al-Arian as head of "the active arm of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, and we like to call it the Islamic Committee for Palestine here for security reasons." Abu Damra implored mosque congregants, "Donate to the Islamic Jihad! . . . If you write a check, write it for the Islamic Committee for Palestine."

I copy the full article below.

Mosques Planning Terror
Why Islamists hate new FBI rules.
By Debbie Schlussel, July 10 2002
http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/
comment-schlussell071002.asp

Why are Muslim and Arab "civil rights" groups the only ones protesting new FBI rules to fight terrorism?

Why aren't mainstream Christian and Jewish groups protesting the new guidelines handed down by Attorney General John Ashcroft and his Justice Department? Or Hispanic groups?

Maybe because Muslim, mostly Arab, terrorists including at least two 9/11 hijackers deliberately used U.S. mosques to fundraise for and plan terrorist attacks. Maybe because they knew that, under the old rules, it had been difficult for FBI counterterrorism operatives to surveil terrorists once they stepped into the mosques. And they, the terrorists and many Muslim allies in the U.S. took advantage of this.

The old rules were used by a blind cleric, a professor, and even the mosque founded and headed by the father of a Bush administration official, to fund and/or plan terror, undetected.

Take the Santa Clara Masjid (Mosque). According to the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat, Osama bin Laden's deputy (or boss, depending upon the intelligence report), Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, visited the United States in early 1995 using a forged passport, and raised money for terrorist operations at various U.S. mosques, including the Santa Clara Mosque, a.k.a. Masjid Al-Noor, a.k.a. MCA (Muslim Community Association) of Santa Clara.

The late Mahboob Khan is identified by a 1999 "MCA Newsletter" as the man "whose constant efforts and guidance. . . establish[ed] the Islamic Center" of Santa Clara. A 1999 Islamic Horizons magazine obituary for Mahboob Khan quotes a former secretary general of the Islamic Society of North America as saying that Dr. Khan "was in the forefront in the struggle" of "the Santa Clara mosque." This includes the time period when Zawahiri was staying in Santa Clara and raising money at Khan's mosque.

Khan was the founder of American Muslims for Global Peace and Justice, the group spearheading the boycott of Starbucks in the United States. Incredibly, Khan's son, Suhail Khan, was the Bush White House's Muslim outreach official last year. He is also a current and founding board member of the Islamic Institute, which openly opposes the new FBI rules, lodging protests with Ashcroft.

Islamic Institute board members, including founder Grover Norquist allied with Arab congressman Darrell Issa fought against the Patriot Act, which included some of the same reforms allowing easier mosque and other surveillance of suspected terrorists by the FBI as Ashcroft's new guidelines. FBI monitoring of Khan's Santa Clara Mosque would have led to Zawahiri's arrest and prosecution, and possibly the discovery and prevention of future al Qaeda terrorism.

Islamic Institute and other prominent Muslim groups protested federal agents' raids and/or shutdowns of several of the largest Muslim charities and institutions in America, all of whom were funding and laundering money for terrorism, to the tune of over $1.2 billion. That included a March raid of the Graduate School of Islamic Social Sciences (GSISS), which had a federal contract to train U.S. military and prison chaplains. GSISS donated to Islamic Institute as did some of its raided umbrella and sister organizations. Had federal agents been allowed to monitor these organizations earlier, their illicit activities would have been prevented.

Then there's convicted terrorist, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the al Qaeda-connected religious leader who helped inspire and mastermind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He preached terror on America and helped plan the attack from mosques in Brooklyn and Jersey City. According to Ronald Kessler, New York Times best-selling author of The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI, FBI agents investigating him stopped their surveillance activities, each time he set foot in a mosque the place where his most incriminating activities took place.

Rahman hung out at Brooklyn's Alkifah Refugee Center, ostensibly a Muslim charity and welfare center directed in 1991 by bin Laden's secretary Wadih El-Hage, later convicted of bombing the U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998. A number of terrorist operations, including the 1993 WTC bombing, the murder of an American rabbi, and the murder of Jewish children in a van on the Brooklyn Bridge, were planned at Alkifah.

But the FBI couldn't listen in.

That's because, under the old guidelines, FBI investigators couldn't initiate investigations of religious places of worship, other organizations, and individuals, without independent evidence from outside the FBI, that criminal activities were being perpetrated within and/or by those parties.

The new guidelines have done away with that. Now mosques and other organizations can be investigated without waiting for outside evidence that might never come.

But you don't hear rabbis and preachers complaining. Or Latinos. That's because it's difficult to come up with an example where terrorist attacks were planned in synagogues, churches, or the headquarters of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

On the other hand, Muslim and Arab groups and their spokesmen-Khaled Saffuri of Islamic Institute, Jason Erb of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and Hussein Ibish of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) have been screaming out against the new rules.

In other words, forget their post 9/11 phony, ephemeral promises to help President Bush rout out terrorism. On the contrary, they attempt to protect those who enable and plan terrorism, not stop them.

That's why they want don't want the FBI entering the mosques.

All of these groups openly support Sheik Rahman's buddy, Dr. Sami Al-Arian, the Islamic Jihad Chief of Military Operations, who doubles as the tax-funded, vacationing University of South Florida professor of computer science. Al-Arian raised money to fund his terrorist operations in mainstream mosques all over America, videotapes show, with the willing participation of the mosques' imams (religious leaders) and congregants. In one video, Fawwaz Abu Damra, Imam of the Islamic Center of Cleveland, is shown introducing Al-Arian as head of "the active arm of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, and we like to call it the Islamic Committee for Palestine here for security reasons." Abu Damra implored mosque congregants, "Donate to the Islamic Jihad! . . . If you write a check, write it for the Islamic Committee for Palestine."

This is why some of the folks at CAIR, ADC, Islamic Institute, and America's other radical Muslims don't want the FBI in their mosques. And why we should be happy they now are. Americans who do not support terrorism should take note and not allow themselves to be used as accessories.

Debbie Schlussel is an attorney, columnist, and commentator.

Posted by David Melle at July 17, 2002 04:53 PM
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