Thursday, March 13, 2003

How a terrorist enterprise was created, maintained, financed, and coordinated from the safety of the United States

By Steven Emerson

The indictment of the Islamic Jihad terrorist leadership operating out of
the United States since 1984 was unprecedented in scope and magnitude.
With 50 counts (166 pages), it revealed in fascinating detail the internal
conversations, discussions, planning and covert financing of one of the
most murderous terrorist enterprises in the world. It uncovered a world we
never get to see: how a terrorist enterprise was created, maintained,
financed, and coordinated from the safety of the United States.

From issuing communiques on behalf of suicide operations to arguing how
their monies were being spent by factions in the Islamic Jihad, the
indictment - spanning 19 years - shows a key to Islamic terrorists'
success in planting themselves in the heart of the West: the ability to
deceive the public, media and government in portraying themselves as part
of America's pluralist ethnic mosaic.

Islamic Jihad has been officially headquartered in Damascus, Syria, but
the indictment makes clear that its CEO was a professor at the University
of South Florida in Tampa, Sami Al-Arian - who ran the terror apparatus
under the guise of externally operating three seemingly innocent entities:
a Muslim academic institute, a Palestinian humanitarian-aid group and an
Islamic religious center. As yesterday's evidence makes staggeringly
clear, Al-Arian & Co. used these entities as a perfect cover to operate a
violent terrorist group that has killed more than 100 civilians, including
two Americans.

The indictment contains conversation after conversation of Al-Arian
conspiring with Islamic Jihad leaders outside the United States to
coordinate and finance the Islamic Jihad group. Count 42 states: "The
enterprise members, while concealing their association with PIJ [Palestine
Islamic Jihad], would and did seek to obtain support from influential
individuals in the United States under the guise of promoting and
protecting Arab rights. The enterprise members would and did make false
statements and misrepresent facts to representatives of the media to
promote the goals of PIJ."

Back in 1994, I produced and reported "Jihad in America," a PBS
documentary that exposed the secret Islamic Jihad cell that Al-Arian ran
from Tampa. I interviewed Al-Arian - who, of course, denied any terrorist
affiliation. But the documentary also revealed statements by Al-Arian
championing terrorism, the existence of Islamic Jihad publications
distributed from his office, the use of his academic institute as a cover
for Islamic Jihad and actual videos of Islamic Jihad terrorist conferences
he organized in the United States.

Virtually every national Islamic "civil rights" group - created with the
same guile that fostered the success of Al-Arian's organization -
responded by claiming that we were "attacking Islam" and that we were
stereotyping all Muslims. That pattern of obeisance to terrorism was
repeated yesterday following issuance of the indictment.

Hiding under the patina of promoting Arab and Muslim rights, these groups
gathered impressive supporters in the media, Congress and intelligentsia
who jumped on to the "Al-Arian is the victim" refrain, further emboldening
him to literally get away with murder.

The list of scoundrels who assiduously and systematically protected
Al-Arian's terrorist enterprise included then-Rep. David Bonior, Martin
Merzer of the Miami Herald, The St. Petersburg Times' Sue Aschoff and
countless others.

Al-Arian was so successful in his deception that he was invited to the
White House four times, meeting with both President Clinton and President

In the end, Al-Arian succeeded in his deception via the same exact formula
that constrained the FBI - deterred by the fear of being accused of
"racial profiling" - from investigating Islamic militants training in U.S.
flight academies in the months before 9/11. This formula lies at the heart
of Western vulnerability to terrorist groups implanted in our midst. Al
Qaeda and Hamas used it in setting up Islamic "civil rights" groups and
charities throughout the '90s - designed to tar with the broad epithet of
"racism" anyone who would have exposed their secret terrorist connection.

The Justice Department demonstrated that the United States was not going
to sit quietly and allow this murderous deception to continue. Democracies
only act, a British politician once said, when there is blood in the
streets. For the last 10 years, rivers of blood have flooded Tel Aviv,
Jerusalem, New York and Washington. Unfortunately, the terrorist facade,
while damaged by the indictment yesterday and the series of post-9/11
effective one-two counter-terrorist punches by the Bush administration, is
still vibrant in the United States.

The terrorists had a good 10 years on us. Whether we are able to truly
dissipate their infrastructure in the future will depend on the response
that is forthcoming
Palestinian Media Watch reports:

The Palestinian Authority [PA] has consistently seen Iraq as one of its closest allies and Palestinian enmity towards the United States dates back to the first Gulf war when Palestinians supported Iraq in their attack on Kuwait. Iraq has recently gained even more status in the PA due to Iraq’s support of their terror war with Israel. Especially prominent are the large financial grants that Saddam Hussein has given to families of suicide bombers in public ceremonies televised on PA TV.

For these reasons the PA as policy, has sided openly with Iraq the coming war and continues to send them messages of support combined with vicious expression of hatred directed toward the United States.

This past Friday, in the official Sermon on PA TV by religious figure Ibrahim Madiras, America is defined as “the foremost enemy of the Muslim nation” and is compared to Pharaoh of the Bible who said, according to Islamic tradition: “There is no God besides me….” The US war against Iraq is said to be an imperialist war over oil, and the war on terror is said to be the guise for the theft of the oil. Attacks on US policy appears regularly in the PA media.

The following is from the sermon:
“America is the first-degree enemy of the Palestinian people and the Islamic and Arab nations. Yes, America is the foremost enemy of this people. America is the foremost enemy of the Muslim nation, because it has started a war against this Arab, Islamic people… Iraq possesses far more oil … than the oil reserves in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and America wants to have control over the oil. Therefore it has created various methods and fabricated lies and deceit in order to enter into a war against Iraq…. America is behaving like Pharaoh at this time; I only see within America what we saw and heard from Pharaoh, the curse of God upon him. America is behaving like Pharaoh right now. It is telling the whole world: “There is no God besides me…” (Surat Alkatzetz, verse 38). The entire world is standing there saying ‘no’ to war against Iraq and ‘no’ to war against the Arab nation. Yet America is saying what Pharaoh said: “There is no God besides me….” [PA TV February 21, 2003]

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Palestinian Arabs use Ambulances for Terror Activities
Aslam Jabril, a Red Crescent ambulance driver, has been charged in the Beit El military court with using ambulances to transport guns and explosive belts to terrorists of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in Nablus and Ramallah.
Saudi-Funded U.S. Group Recruits for al Qaeda -
The Saudi-funded, al Qaeda propaganda machine is in full effect behind the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA), an ostensibly mainstream organization that had five of its members arrested and indicted at the end of February. IANA receives half its funding from the Saudi government and the other half from mostly Saudi private donors, according to a New York Times interview with IANA's director, Mohammed al-Ahmari. Backed by the Saudis, IANA has become a glorified al Qaeda recruitment center. Two of the most radical sheiks in Saudi Arabia who provide religious justification for al Qaeda, Salman Al-Awdah and Safar al-Hawali, have several fatwas (religious rulings) and statements plastered all over IANA's websites that legitimize suicide bombings, terrorist attacks, and spit hatred towards the West. (National Review)
The French Connection - William Safire
France, China, and Syria all have a common reason for keeping American and British troops out of Iraq: the three nations may not want the world to discover that their nationals have been illicitly supplying Saddam Hussein with materials used in building long-range surface-to-surface missiles. (New York Times)
Palestinian Arabs Receive Checks from Saddam Hussein
Palestinian families received $245,000 in checks from Iraq on Wednesday. The family of a Palestinian suicide bomber received a check for $25,000. The other 22 families received $10,000 each. Officials of the Arab Liberation Front said Hussein has paid $35 million to the kin of Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip and West Bank since September 2000. (Reuters/Washington Post)
A brief excerpt from Hollywood and "Anti-war" (a more accurate term is pro-appeasment or pro-Saddam) Hypocrisy:

In fact, the Clinton administration was far less willing to seek approval from the United Nations for its bombing campaign than the Bush White House has been over Iraq. In criticizing the Bush team's decision to seek an 18th U.N. resolution to justify the use of force in Iraq, Richard Holbrooke, a Clinton U.N. ambassador, points out that "in a roughly similar situation, in 1999, the Clinton administration and our NATO allies decided to bomb Serbia (for 77 days) without even seeking U.N. approval, after it became clear that Russia would veto any proposal. This contrast with the supposedly muscular Bush administration is especially odd when one considers that Saddam Hussein is far worse than Slobodan Milosevic, and that Iraq has left a long trail of violated Security Council resolutions, while there were none in Kosovo."

Mr. Clinton himself now cautions against going to war in Iraq, but he seems to be having an argument with the man by the same name who occupied the White House for eight years. Here is President Clinton on Iraq in 1998: "What if Saddam fails to comply and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction? . . . Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And someday, some way, I guarantee you he'll use the arsenal."

From Honestreporting:

This week, Yasser Arafat appointed Mahmoud Abbas ("Abu Mazen") as prime
minister to run the day-to-day affairs of the Palestinians.

On Wednesday, Arafat then met in his Ramallah office with representatives
of Russia, the EU, and the UN, and demanded they put pressure on Israel --
now that he has agreed to share powers with a prime minister.

BBC reports on Arafat: "The Palestinian leader has thrown his weight
behind the reform process," and that "Mr Arafat
has been told that easing his grip on power is a key condition to restart
peace talks."

Actually, since Arafat hand-picked Abbas, it does not satisfy the world's
demand for the introduction of democratic reforms into the Palestinian

And since it turns out that Arafat is maintaining control of two crucial
portfolios -- security and peace negotiations -- the Abbas appointment
does not satisfy President Bush's demand for "new leadership not
compromised by terror."

As the Jerusalem Post writes: "The whole American-European-Israeli idea
was to transform Yasser Arafat into a figurehead and transfer power to a
more palatable replacement. That, so far, is clearly not what is

---- Media Spin ----

Let's look at how the media is spinning this one.

For starters, The Guardian's Conal Urquhart (his real name) writes: "Mr
Abbas has the stature and ability to sign a peace deal independently..."

This assertion should come as quite a surprise to Arafat, who gave Abbas
no such "ability." (Comments to:

And The Independent (UK) trumpets this headline: "Palestinians Vote for
Powerful Premier" -

"Powerful"?! (Comments to:

By contrast, the Chicago Tribune's headline spoke the plain truth:

"Arafat remains boss in deal to appoint prime minister: PLO chief keeps
reins on police, talks for peace"

---- Background: Who is Abbas? ----

Mahmoud Abbas holds a Ph.D. in history from Moscow's Oriental College,
where his doctoral thesis served as a basis for his 1984 book, "The Other
Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism." In this book,
Abbas raised doubts that gas chambers were used for extermination of Jews,
and suggested that the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust was "less
than a million."

Abbas also proposed the sickening, bizarre claim that the Holocaust was a
joint Zionist-Nazi plot. He wrote: "The Zionist movement led a broad
campaign of incitement against the Jews living under Nazi rule, in order
to arouse the government's hatred of them, to fuel vengeance against them,
and to expand the mass extermination."

It was this type of talk that led Austrian Freedom Party leader Jorg
Haider and French politician Jean Marie Le Pen to be ostracized by the
international community.

So how does BBC profile Abbas?

"A highly intellectual man, Abu Mazen [Abbas] studied law in Egypt before
doing a PhD in Moscow. He is the author of several books."

BBC offers no details of the appalling contents of Abbas' writings.

Meanwhile, much of the media is praising Abbas as a "moderate" for having
criticized the use of armed attacks against Israelis. The same BBC profile
reports: "Referring to the current intifada, Abu Mazen has called for a
halt to armed attacks on Israeli targets to avoid giving Israel a pretext
to destroy the last vestiges of Palestinian autonomy."

Note that Abbas does not oppose killing Israeli civilians from a moral
standpoint; he just finds it strategically ineffective.

Further, in a March 3 interview with the London-based "A-Sharq al-Awsat,"
Abbas called for the continuation of armed struggle, and seemed only to
rule out suicide missions inside the Green Line.

Comments to BBC at:

See a full report on Abbas' Holocaust revisionism here.

---- Palestinian Denial of the Holocaust ---

Yasser Arafat and the PA have systematically dismissed the horrors of the
Holocaust -- in speeches, television appearances, interviews and books --
both before and after the Oslo accords were signed.

The PA newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadeedah, featured an article by Palestinian
author Nabil Salam, declaring:

"Since its establishment, the racist Zionist entity has been implementing
various forms of terrorism on a daily basis which are a repetition of the
Nazi terror. This proves the shared roots of Nazi and Zionist thought.
This also explains the cooperation between the Jews and Nazis during World
War II, through which was revealed the forged claims of the Zionists
regarding the alleged acts of slaughter perpetrated against the Jews
during the same period." (September 3, 1997)

A PA television moderator declared: "It is well-known that every year the
Jews exaggerate what the Nazis did to them. They claim there were 6
million killed, but precise scientific research demonstrates that there
were no more than 400,000." (August 25, 1997)

Hassan al-Agha, a professor at the Islamic University in Gaza City,
declared on PA television in 1997:

"The Jews view it [the Holocaust] as a profitable activity so they inflate
the number of victims all the time. In another ten years, I do not know
what number they will reach... As you know, when it comes to economics and
investments, the Jews have been very experienced ever since the days of
The Merchant of Venice."

Seif Ali Al-Jarwan, writing in the Palestinian newspaper Al Hayat
Al-Jadeeda, declared:

"They concocted horrible stories of gas chambers which Hitler, they
claimed, used to burn them alive. The press overflowed with pictures of
Jews being gunned down... or being pushed into gas chambers... The truth
is that such persecution was a malicious fabrication by the Jews." (July
2, 1998)

Furthermore, Palestinians have refused to incorporate any aspect of the
Holocaust into their educational curricula, fearing it might strengthen
Zionist claims to Palestine. Hatem Abd Al-Qader, a Hamas leader, explained
that such instruction would represent "a great danger for the formation of
a Palestinian consciousness"; it would directly threaten Palestinian
political dreams and religious aspirations, such as the promise by Allah
that the whole of Palestine was a sacred possession to the Arabs.
(Al-Risala, Apr. 13, 2000)

And finally, The New York Times (April 6, 1989) reports that Fuzi Salim
Ali Madi, one of the leaders of Arafat's elite unit, Fatah Force 17,
selected the moniker "Abu Hitler" and named his two sons "Eichmann" and

Read more about "Palestinian Holocaust
Denial" in this article by Robert S. Wistrich.