In the tidy working-class suburb of Bridgeview, Ill., Mohammad Salah
instructed children in the Koran. He prepared the dead for burial at
his local mosque. And he observed the solemn Muslim obligation of
zakat, giving generously to charity with the conviction that all things
belong to God.
But the FBI says Salah's idea of zakat included nearly $1 million in
donations to the Palestinian extremist group Hamas, some of it for
Uzis, rifles and other weapons. In their first use of a new law
targeting the assets of terrorism supporters, prosecutors have seized
Salah's bank accounts and are trying to take his house -- all without a
The Justice Department's case against Salah is one of the few public
signs of a dramatically expanded set of investigations of Muslim
Americans suspected of aiding overseas terrorists. Emboldened by tough
new anti-terrorism laws and huge increases in anti-terrorism funding,
the FBI is scrutinizing at least 20 U.S. groups with suspected links to
terrorists, including some tied to Osama bin Laden, the alleged
ringleader in the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.
In the case of bin Laden, authorities have focused on Wadih el Hage, a
Texas man charged in connection with the embassy bombings, as the main
cog in a network that allegedly also included a former sergeant in the
U.S. Army, Ali A. Mohamed, who was arrested last month in New York.
Officials also are scrutinizing the activities of a now-defunct Muslim
group in Brooklyn, the Alkifah Refugee Center, some of whose members
were convicted of bombing the World Trade Center in 1993.
Grand juries in New York, Chicago and Tampa are investigating other
Islamic groups, and the FBI has sharply stepped up its applications for
secret wiretaps designed to combat terrorism on U.S. soil. Officials
say the heightened vigilance is needed to monitor an expanding number
of threats -- from a Detroit man who allegedly tried to smuggle high-
tech surveillance gear to Middle East terrorists to an American network
of Iranian students who allegedly spy for Tehran.
The investigations are drawing on broad powers granted by Congress to
fight terrorism after the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City
bombings. The new laws give the FBI greater leeway to pursue possible
associates of terrorists even when they are not suspected of specific
offenses. The statutes also make it a crime to send money to foreign
groups the State Department classifies as terrorist, and bolster the
government's ability to use classified information to detain suspected
terrorism supporters in immigration cases.
Meanwhile, Congress has boosted the FBI's counterterrorism budget from
$118 million to $286 million since 1995, and the number of FBI
employees assigned to anti-terrorism matters has more than doubled, to
2,650. Under FBI Director Louis J. Freeh, counterterrorism, once
considered a career dead-end, has become a marquee assignment.
Still, officials acknowledge that their main focus is on Muslim
individuals and groups.
"We have a problem with Islamic terrorism," said a senior Justice
official. "If we had a problem with Latvian terrorism, we'd focus on
Officials argue that because bin Laden and other Muslim radicals have
declared war on America, they cannot ignore their supporters here. Some
experts believe Middle Eastern terrorists are increasingly dependent on
their U.S. allies. Hamas, for example, raises about one-third of its
$30 million annual budget in this country and Europe, University of
Illinois terrorism experts say.
Investigators claim some important victories to justify their
The first person charged using the "material support" provisions of the
anti-terrorist law was Fawzi "Frank" Mustapha Assi, a Ford Motor Co.
engineer who lives in Dearborn, Mich., with his wife and three
children. As the result of what his attorney believes was a tip, the
FBI, with authorization from the Justice Department's wiretap court,
started in February watching him 24 hours a day, tapping his phones and
sifting through his garbage.
On July 13, Assi was stopped at the Detroit airport on his way to
Lebanon. In his luggage agents found $124,000 worth of electronics: two
global-positioning satellite units, seven pairs of night-vision goggles
and an infrared imaging camera. The FBI says Assi said that he was
delivering the gear to contacts in Hezbollah, or Party of God, an
Iranian-backed group in Lebanon that attacks Israeli forces and is on
the State Department's terrorism list. The FBI said Assi also tried to
discard, in trash bins around Dearborn, documents about Israeli cabinet
members and the locations of their offices.
Assi, charged with export law violations and giving material support to
terrorists, insisted he was an apolitical family man with no ties to
Hezbollah. A judge released him on bail with an electronic bracelet. A
few days later he fled, reportedly to Lebanon. "It's peculiar," said
Assi's attorney, David Steingold. "I really thought the FBI was off-
base. Now I don't know what to think."
Salah, a U.S. citizen, has denied any links to violence. But American
officials describe him as a "high-level operative" for Hamas who
financed armed attacks on Israelis. He served five years in an Israeli
prison for alleged terrorist activities before returning last November
to Chicago, where he had first moved from the Middle East in 1970 and
where, according to Israeli officials, he taught Palestinian students
how to make car bombs.
The FBI says Salah also made several trips to the West Bank and Gaza to
help a top Hamas leader named Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, a longtime
Fairfax County resident who was deported to Jordan in 1996. In hundreds
of pages of public documents, the FBI has outlined a complex series of
covert real estate deals it says were designed to launder $820,000 from
a Saudi company to Hamas. Eventually, most of the money ended up in
Salah's bank account after transfers from accounts controlled by
Marzook in McLean.
While Salah has not been charged with a crime here, FBI agents tail him
everywhere and question people he meets. In June, prosecutors filed an
unprecedented "forfeiture complaint" seizing his bank accounts and
taking steps to remove him, his wife, Azita, and their four young
children from their house. They seized another $1 million from the
Quranic Literacy Institute, an Islamic group that had a hand in the
real estate deals.
Salah admits that some of his funds may have flowed to the wing of
Hamas. U.S. officials say Hamas's "political" leaders also oversee the
clandestine "military" wing that has killed scores of Israelis in
bombings and executed hundreds of Palestinian "collaborators." U.S.
officials also say donations to Hamas charities free funds for the
military cells, which promise lifetime assistance to the families of
suicide bombers. The charities also indoctrinate and recruit
Palestinians to Hamas's radical cause, the officials say.
"Hamas uses the contributions to build support for itself both in
social services and 'military' operations," said Richard Ward, a
University of Illinois terrorism expert. "I'm surprised at how
successful it's been moving into the U.S."
Ismail Selim Elbarasse, 51, an accountant from Falls Church, is in
prison in New York for refusing to appear before a grand jury
investigating money-laundering. Agents are reviewing the funds handled
by Elbarasse, including bank accounts he shared with Marzook. Before he
was jailed, Elbarasse worked as comptroller of the Islamic Saudi
Academy, a Saudi-financed school under construction in Loudoun County.
Abdelhaleem Ashqar, a fund-raiser for Palestinian causes who lives in
Fairfax County, was also held in prison for several months for
boycotting the same New York grand jury.
Civil libertarians say FBI probes of some Muslim groups show the bureau
equates anti-American rhetoric with terrorism. But officials insist
they have evidence that the groups encourage subversion or terrorist
Anjoman Islamie, a student group, "is comprised almost exclusively of
fanatical, anti-American, Iranian Shiite Muslims," Dale Watson, the
FBI's counterterrorism chief, said in Senate testimony earlier this
year. Watson said Tehran "relies heavily" on the students for low-level
intelligence, and could use them to mount operations against U.S.
The Islamic Association of Palestine, a Dallas-based group that
distributes Hamas literature, has seen many members questioned by the
FBI. "IAP is a Hamas front," said former FBI counterterrorism chief
Oliver "Buck" Revell. "It's controlled by Hamas, it brings Hamas
leaders to the U.S., it does propaganda for Hamas."
IAP President Amer al-Shawa said his group shares many ideals with
Hamas, and acknowledged that speakers at IAP events at times take
extreme anti-Jewish and anti-American stands
The Holy Land Foundation, based in Richardson, Tex., is the nation's
largest Islamic charity, sending $2 million a year to Palestinian
causes. Israeli officials say it is a Hamas front because it provides
money to the families of Hamas activists killed or in prison.
After one PFLP fund-raiser in 1986, an agent reported that his
colleagues -- who did not speak Arabic -- had discerned from posters of
Palestinians with AK-47 rifles and the "general mood" that the
group "was not attempting to raise money for a humanitarian cause. The
music . . . sounded militaristic."
Perhaps the most prominent secret evidence case involves Mazen al-
Najjar, a University of South Florida professor jailed in Tampa since
May 1997. Federal agents describe him and his brother-in-law, fellow
USF professor Sami al-Arian, as "mid-level operatives" for the
Palestinian Islamic Jihad group. The two men worked at a Muslim think
tank whose former administrator, Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, is now the
leader of Islamic Jihad. Court papers say another former officer,
Basheer Nafi, was a top Jihad operative.
An immigration judge who examined the secret evidence approved the
detention of al-Najjar, and an appeals board agreed that his
release "would pose a threat to both the national security of this
country . . . and the safety of other persons." An FBI agent testified
that he found a letter from al-Arian soliciting funds for Islamic
Jihad, "appeal[ing] for support for the Jihad so that people will not
lose faith in Islam."
Their incarceration might seem outrageous now, FBI officials say, but
it would not if all the facts were public.
"Some of these people are not who they seem," one senior FBI official
said. "We know that whenever we do something, people are going to call
us jackbooted thugs. But if we do nothing, people are going to yell at
us when something blows up."
Be Christian, Be Zionist, be Local Hero, be Cool
Sent via Deja.com
>But the FBI says Salah's idea of zakat included nearly $1 million in
>donations to the Palestinian extremist group Hamas, some of it for
>Uzis, rifles and other weapons. In their first use of a new law
>targeting the assets of terrorism supporters, prosecutors have seized
>Salah's bank accounts and are trying to take his house -- all without a
Sounds unconstitutional. Freezing his assets so he can't grab them and flee
would be one thing, but what they are doing seems to violate due process of
Adam Littman / ^ \
AL...@cornell.edu /\ / \ /\
/ \( ) ( )/ \
\ /\ o /\ /
\ / \( )/ \ /
"Four minutes twenty-two seconds, \/____\_/____\/
Baldric, you owe me a groat" \ \ /
--Blackadder \ / \ /
# In article <959pq0$tg5$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, American Christian Patriot
# <good_chri...@my-deja.com> wrote:
# >But the FBI says Salah's idea of zakat included nearly $1 million in
# >donations to the Palestinian extremist group Hamas, some of it for
# >Uzis, rifles and other weapons. In their first use of a new law
# >targeting the assets of terrorism supporters, prosecutors have seized
# >Salah's bank accounts and are trying to take his house -- all without a
# >criminal trial.
# Sounds unconstitutional. Freezing his assets so he can't grab them and flee
# would be one thing, but what they are doing seems to violate due process of
I know someone who had all of his assets frozen specifically to force
him to testify in front of a grand jury. They claimed they were doing
it for other reasons, but immediately after he testified they released
the assets. However, the reason the assets were claimed to be frozen
still existed even after they were released.
There are three types of people in the world. Those that are good at
math and those that are not.
Shhhh, did you just not hear that sound? That was the sound of a policeman not
kicking down your door with no warrant because he has a "hunch" that you have
The problem with letting the government do things that violate the
constitution when dealing with a suspected Arab terrorist _today_ is that it
gives them a license to do the same thing to you _tomorrow_. The USA is a
nation ruled by laws and _precedents_.
Once he is convicted, seizing his assets is a reasonable, constitutional act.
Until then, it is incredibly dangerous to give the government permission to
take people's money or property because they _think_ the people have comitted
a crime, without having to prove it to a jury.
Heck, it is bad enough that when the DEA decides they want a boost in their
budget they can just go to someone's house, plant drugs there, take the house,
and sell to boost their budget.
American Christian Patriot <good_chri...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
In article <959ps8$ti5$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
What about Wall Street Bombing?
What about Cole Ship Bombing?
What about the Marines Building in Lebanon 1982 Bombing?
And goes on...
In article <95bf8t$am2$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
So there are no terrorists affiliated with any other religion, ideology
or what ever else?
Give me ANY religion, sect, or what ever else and I will be happy to
list groups affiliated to it and responsible for very barbaric acts,
acts committed in the present and the past eras!
In the other hand, most Muslim organisations are very civic and highly
respected by their environment, for such ones please refer to:
So what is behind this anti Muslim propaganda, hate and defamation?
In article <95bsev$l82$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
> Ok SO who are those who says that the fondamentalist muslims (most) are
> not terrorist?
> What about Wall Street Bombing?
> What about Cole Ship Bombing?
> What about the Marines Building in Lebanon 1982 Bombing?
According to the press report, the FBI focus is AMERICAN Muslims --U.S.
citizens, not Egyptian, Yemeni, or other Arab nationals. I don't
believe that AMERICAN Muslims had anything to do with the bombings of
the Cole and the Marines.
Perhaps someone can enlighten me on whether the perpetrators of the
World Trade Center bombing were American Muslims. Was the blind
Egyptian shaikh a U.S. citizen?
In article <95c2vo$rnr$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
xenolith <xeno...@my-deja.com> wrote:
> In article <95c2k5$rfc$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
> Cathy <cathyd...@my-deja.com> wrote:
> [ ... ]
> > So what is behind this anti Muslim propaganda, hate and defamation?
> Zionism is an evil that sees its survival dependent on its success in:
> 1) keeping the people of the Middle East divided along sectarian
> enslaved to their tyrannical police states, and
> 2) the effective control of Western societies through subversion,
> financial powers and control of the media.
Again and again you have to understand and read well the threads before
posting a reply.
The Guys were talking about Terrorism and islam. Then one of the thread
was defending that Islam doesnt have anything to do with terrorism.
I was just showing him, that Yes Fondamentalist Muslim did lot of
Terrorism act... We dont wana forget the Killing of President ANwar al
sadat by Extremist Islam.
I am not saying that there are nothing for terrorism beside the islams.
But Fondamentalist or Extremist (ousama bin laden is he Sikh or
Christian..!!!) are terrorist.
I like you. You always attack me for no reason..
In article <95c2k5$rfc$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
Cathy <cathyd...@my-deja.com> wrote:
OJ; can you say (and give convincing proof) that about the Bahai? The
disciples of Lao Dzu?
Juan A. Rodriguez-Sero; ja...@halcyon.com
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155-2940 U. S. A.
In article <95c32o$rpm$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
<sharb...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
> > > > some thing like that).
<sharb...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
In article <95c3pe$jfg$1...@halcyon.com>,
In article <3A791BEA...@netscape.net>,
In article <95bf8t$am2$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
Cathy <cathyd...@my-deja.com> wrote:
In article <95c76p$18$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
Osama bin Laden: Acquiring weapons for the defense of Muslims is a
religious duty. If I have indeed acquired these weapons, then I thank
God for enabling me to do so. And if I seek to acquire these weapons, I
am carrying out a duty. It would be a sin for Muslims not to try to
possess the weapons that would prevent the infidels from inflicting
harm on Muslims.
In article <95c7nn$j2$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
In article <95c414$srg$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
Osama bin Laden: Hostility toward America is a religious duty, and we
hope to be rewarded for it by God. To call us Enemy No. 1 or 2 does not
hurt us. Osama bin Laden is confident that the Islamic nation will
carry out its duty. I am confident that Muslims will be able to end the
legend of the so-called superpower that is America.
In article <95c36r$s2i$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>,
Be Christian, Be Zionist, be Local Hero, be Cool
Thank you! Do you accept that there are at the very least two "religions,
Sects, or whetever else" about which what you stated is false?