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FBI monitored Tampa terrorist cell for decade (Al-Arian, unsealed affidavit details investigation)
AP via Sarasota Herald-Tribune ^ | 12 December 2003 | VICKIE CHACHERE

Posted on 12/12/2003 1:22:11 AM PST by Stultis

Documents: FBI monitored growth of Tampa terrorist cell for decade


By VICKIE CHACHERE
Associated Press Writer


TAMPA, Fla. --

FBI agents monitored a group of Palestinian men in Florida for more than a decade and drew the connections between Middle East terrorists and the group of seemingly quiet academics through a web of money transfers, faxes and scanned mail, according to court documents released Thursday.

In an affidavit more than 100-pages long, FBI Agent Kerry Myers detailed the long investigation of former University of South Professor Sami Al-Arian and three others who are named in a 50-count federal racketeering indictment.

The affidavit was used to obtain a judge's permission to search the defendants' homes when they were arrested in February. It was unsealed Thursday after Al-Arian's defense attorneys requested it.

Many of the details of the evidence gathered in the case has been made public since the document was presented to U.S. District Judge Thomas McCoun in subsequent court hearings. The FBI was seeking to convince the judge that Al-Arian and the others constituted a "terrorist cell" of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the United States and said years of money transfers, wire taps and intercepted faxes backup their case.

Myers said in the sworn affidavit that FBI wiretaps dated back to December 1993, years before it became publicly known that Al-Arian and Palestinian Islamic Jihad head Ramadan Shallah were under investigation, the affidavit said. Shallah headed up Al-Arian's think tank until 1995, when he left to assume the leadership of the PIJ.

Shallah, who is in Syria, is among four other men named in the indictment who have not been arrested.

Calls to Al-Arian's attorneys were not immediately returned Thursday. Al-Arian, Sameeh Hammoudeh, Hatim Fariz and Ghassan Zayed Ballut have said they are innocent of the charges and are scheduled to go to trial in January 2005.

Al-Arian has denied that he supports terrorism and has accused the government of persecuting him for his anti-Israeli views.

Steve Cole, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Tampa, declined to comment on the newly revealed evidence.

The first pieces of evidence tying Al-Arian to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad came following the February 1992 slayings of three people at an Israeli military camp in the occupied territories, the records said. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack and four members of the group were arrested.

In June 1993, Al-Arian sent four wire transfers of $2,000 each from his bank in Tampa to the bank accounts in Israel established for the spouses or close relatives of the four terrorists, the affidavit said.

Scores of other telephone calls and faxes between the men and terrorist leaders in the Middle East followed, the affidavit said.

"The intercepts reveal that the defendants were members and heavily involved in PIJ, its financial operations and its ongoing violent efforts to replace the state of Israel with a Palestinian Islamic Republic modeled after the Islamic Republic of Iran," Myers wrote.

Myers, an anti-terrorism expert who once testified in the case against Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, also said Al-Arian and the others provided advice on the terrorist group's structure, financing, organization and relationships with other terrorist groups, including Hamas. They used USF as a cover and brought other terrorists into the United States "under the guise of academic conferences, meetings and employment."

Last modified: December 11. 2003 7:59PM


TOPICS: Breaking News; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Florida; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 1992; alarian; aliens; americanmuslims; jihadinamerica; sleepercells; tampacell

1 posted on 12/12/2003 1:22:11 AM PST by Stultis
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To: Stultis
The Tampa Tribune did their own report:
http://news.tbo.com/news/MGARE8TQ3OD.html

Dec 12, 2003

Report Tells Of Al-Arian Talks

By ELAINE SILVESTRINI
esilvestrini@tampatrib.com

TAMPA - Sami Al-Arian used his computer savvy to help Palestinian Islamic Jihad planners secretly communicate with each other, according to a sworn statement from an FBI agent.

The allegation against Al-Arian, a former computer science professor at the University of South Florida, was contained in documents unsealed Thursday by a federal judge at the request of Al-Arian's defense team.

Among the unsealed documents was an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Kerry L.Myers requesting searches of the homes of Al-Arian and his co-defendants. The searches were conducted on Feb. 21, when they were arrested on charges they provided material support to the Islamic Jihad. The organization has claimed responsibility for numerous suicide bombings in Israel.

The affidavit described the sought- after evidence, which included computer equipment and software. Noting that Al-Arian has a doctoral degree in computer engineering, Myers wrote that Al-Arian had a 1994 conversation with his brother discussing the creation of an ``impenetrable computer system.''

It is alleged that the brothers later discussed a computer network with stations in the United States, Europe and Turkey. They also reportedly talked about encrypted information.

The affidavit also describes a 2002 telephone conversation between Al-Arian and a co-conspirator about relaying a message to an Islamic Jihad official. The man described as a co-conspirator, Taysir Al- Khatib, allegedly told Al-Arian not to discuss the matter on the telephone, but to wait until they could communicate online.

In his order Thursday, McCoun also released copies of documents related to 1995 searches of Al-Arian's home and offices. Although the court's original copies of those documents were accidentally shredded, McCoun wrote in an order releasing the papers that he had obtained copies of many of the documents from federal law enforcement officials. The 1995 documents were first released in 1996.

First Appearance

Thursday's order was the first time Myers' affidavit became available for public view. The affidavit contains new details of the case against Al-Arian and his co-defendants, including:

* The court-ordered wiretaps of co-conspirators and defendants, as well as what the government refers to as terrorist cover organizations, began on Dec. 27, 1993.

* The first official confirmation that the person described in the indictment as ``unindicted co-conspirator twelve'' is Mazen Al-Najjar, Al-Arian's brother-in-law. Al-Najjar was jailed in 1997 and deported last year after a lengthy battle over secret evidence.

* An allegation that in 1994, Al-Arian and several other co- defendants, including Bashir Nafi and Abd Al Aziz Awda, represented a majority of the voting members on the 10-member Shura Council, the organization's governing body.

* In the spring of 1995, the defendants received faxes of articles ``glorifying terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of Israelis and demanding the release of PIJ terrorists being held in Palestinian prisons.

``The defendants also advised [group founder] Fathi Shiqaqi and others,'' the affidavit says, ``about how to engage in effective propaganda while avoiding the scrutiny of the United States and European law enforcement. The defendants communicated with persons in Iran and Syria about the possibility of procuring encrypted communications equipment to facilitate information sharing.''

Included in the document are new details about an informant who gave authorities information about a 1988 conference in St. Lous of the Islamic Concern Project, an organization founded by Al- Arian. The confidential source was an Arab Muslim cleric, who told authorities that Al- Arian told him that the funds raised at the event were really for Islamic Jihad, the affidavit says. The source also said under oath that Al-Arian tried to get him to join Islamic Jihad. He declined because he had heard rumors that Shiqaqi was a thief.

The affidavit summarizes the results of wiretaps, saying that from 1994 on, ``The defendants in the United States communicated with each other and other PIJ operatives about specific PIJ and HAMAS terrorist attacks shortly after they occurred, detailing who committed them, who organized them, what types of explosives were used, the total cost of the operations, and who had been arrested as the result of the terrorist act.''

Reporter Michael Fechter contributed to this story. Reporter Elaine Silvestrini can be reached at (813) 259-7837.

2 posted on 12/12/2003 1:28:09 AM PST by Stultis
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To: Stultis
I don't suppose this person will apologize for being wrong...

The prime-time smearing of Sami Al-Arian

By pandering to anti-Arab hysteria, NBC, Fox News, Media General and Clear Channel radio disgraced themselves -- and ruined an innocent professor's life.

By Eric Boehlert Jan. 19, 2002

It may not provide him much comfort, but tenured University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian, recently fired after his appearance on a conservative talk show revived discredited, years-old allegations of ties to anti-Israel terrorists, may be the first computer science professor ever mugged by four of the nation's most influential news organizations.

http://216.239.39.104/search?q=cache:4fzfiYeQ9pYJ:www.salon.com/tech/feature/2002/01/19/bubba/+Sami+Al-Arian&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

3 posted on 12/12/2003 1:36:19 AM PST by kcvl
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To: Stultis
``The defendants in the United States communicated with each other and other PIJ operatives about specific PIJ and HAMAS terrorist attacks shortly after they occurred, detailing who committed them, who organized them, what types of explosives were used, the total cost of the operations, and who had been arrested as the result of the terrorist act.''


Lies, lies!, these were just "family" communications!

/sarcasm
4 posted on 12/12/2003 1:37:52 AM PST by tet68
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To: Stultis
...for more than a decade...
For years people have died when the evidence to convict was in hand all along.
Sickening! I hope somebody has restless nights and horrific dreams for allowing this to go on so long with no action taken!
5 posted on 12/12/2003 2:17:51 AM PST by philman_36
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To: philman_36
Intelligence operations never destroy the only leads they have but do just as happened in this case, they watch and learn the entire operation before making an assessment that nothing else can be gained by allowing continuance of the operaton.
6 posted on 12/12/2003 2:31:50 AM PST by Jumper
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To: Jumper
Intelligence operations never destroy the only leads they have but do just as happened in this case, they watch and learn the entire operation before making an assessment that nothing else can be gained by allowing continuance of the operaton.
It takes more than a decade, over ten years, to determine that nothing else can be gained by allowing continuance of the operaton?
Please!
Gullible I'm not. You, on the other hand, seem quite disposed to gullibility.

Can you give me another incident, any incident, similar in nature to this decade long investigation? I'd like to see that.

7 posted on 12/12/2003 2:50:20 AM PST by philman_36
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To: philman_36
Gullibility or stupidy. If you are involved in intelligence operations or their oversight one might take you seriously.
8 posted on 12/12/2003 2:59:09 AM PST by Jumper
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To: Jumper
If you are involved in intelligence operations or their oversight one might take you seriously.
I'm not. Are you involved in intelligence operations or their oversight giving you a more informed stance? If not, then how can you stand by what you stated earlier?

You've yet to give me another example similar to this one!

9 posted on 12/12/2003 3:11:36 AM PST by philman_36
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To: Jumper
Nothing was said that couldn't have been said in open forum.
And it's huge, not hugh. Sorry for being the spelling police, but that was really horrible. Now I know where the joke comes from.
10 posted on 12/12/2003 3:16:26 AM PST by philman_36
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To: Stultis; doug from upland; Shermy
bump for later
11 posted on 12/12/2003 3:32:46 AM PST by RaceBannon
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To: Stultis
In May 1992 Hasan al-Turabi, the Sudanese Islamist and Osama Bin Ladin's eminence gris, visited Florida to attend a roundtable of "American Scholars of Islam." His visit was sponsored by Middle East Committee of the University of South Florida, i.e. Sami al-Arian.

At the time Sudanese expatriates vociferously opposed allowing the Islamofascist Turabi a platform for his views. Their arguments were dashed when Turabi, a few weeks later, addressed U.S. Congressmen in Washington. Despite the arguments of the few that the government of the Sudan was committing genocide in Southern Sudan, and that Turabi was a dangerous individual, the Sudanese Islamist was seen by many in Washington's Middle East establishment (especially Professor John Esposito of Georgetown University) as the voice of reason in a changing world.

The same Sudanese -- Muslims and Christians -- argued that mosques in the Washington D.C. area were fast becoming the center of Islamist sedition, but the FBI (as was later determined) was terribly slow to react. Now, it is nice to know that after hundreds of complaints on Sami that the FBI finally thought him worthy of notice in 1993, and that action was taken a decade later.
12 posted on 12/12/2003 5:32:49 AM PST by gaspar
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To: philman_36
Not exactly similar, but FWIW:

The Feds (Treasury) took 8 years to bust Seagrams on various charges. Much of that time was spent by agents going over records in a locked room w/an armed guard at the door. My father was one of the agents inside the room.

This took place in Milwaukee, WI and I can't for the life of me recall the dates....70's, IIRC, but it could have been a bit earlier; I was already out of the family home and my father never discussed his cases much. I learned this bit from one of his collegues sometime in the 80's after they had both retired. Dad confirmed the timeline and the circumstances, but never revealed details or sources.
13 posted on 12/12/2003 6:17:39 AM PST by reformedliberal
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To: Jumper; philman_36
"Gullibility or stupidy. If you are involved in intelligence operations or their oversight one might take you seriously."

When to cease surveillance and prosecute is a judgement call.

While it might be hard to say in this case, intelligence's judgement is known to have erred on the side of continued surveillance as evidenced by the planes that hit the WTC when there was surveillance that terrorists were training for something involving crashing planes.

14 posted on 12/12/2003 7:30:02 AM PST by DannyTN
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To: Stultis
I highly recommend the book Terrorist Hunter by Anonymous.

The female author is an Iraq Jew who's father was hung by Saddam Hussain.

She has dedicated her life going undercover in radical Islamic conferences with a hidden camera and a wire to obtain info for the feds.

She also researches public information, available to anyone with enough time on their hands. She has given a LOT of information on Al-Arian to the FBI which she details in the book.

After reading what she has to say about the pissing contests between the various intellegence agencies of the US Government (even after 9-11) and pure simple incompetence, I'm less than impressed with the state of our FBI.

To anyone wanting more information on the various "Muslim Charities" laundering money for multiple terrorist organizations as well as Al-Arian read this book. I couldn't put it down, it was fascinating and disturbing both.

MKM

15 posted on 12/12/2003 7:50:39 AM PST by mykdsmom (Haterade: The official drink of the Democratic Party.)
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To: kcvl
I sent him an e-mail to boehlert@home.com
16 posted on 12/12/2003 7:55:21 AM PST by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: kcvl
He writes for Salon. Perhaps he thought that his "paper" would be out of business before the story was resolved.
17 posted on 12/12/2003 8:23:34 AM PST by weegee
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To: Stultis
Meanwhile Al Arian's computer savvy was funded by the tax payers of Fl. Man, USF owes the public an explanation.
18 posted on 12/12/2003 8:29:38 AM PST by rs79bm (Insert Democratic principles and ideals here: .............this space intentionally left blank.....)
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To: gaspar
"Professor John Esposito ..."

one of the first one the list of traitors..
19 posted on 12/12/2003 9:32:42 AM PST by Yehuda (JORDAN is Palestine: http://www.JewPoint.blogspot.com)
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To: yonif
pallie/arian bump.
20 posted on 12/12/2003 10:28:48 AM PST by tubavil
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To: mykdsmom
Her (Rita Katz) organization: http://www.siteinstitute.org
21 posted on 12/12/2003 10:37:36 AM PST by tubavil
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To: reformedliberal
What's "FWIW"?
22 posted on 12/12/2003 10:45:34 AM PST by GOPJ
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To: GOPJ
for what it's worth
23 posted on 12/12/2003 10:52:54 AM PST by tubavil
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To: tubavil
Wow, I'll check out the site. Guess she's not so anonymous anymore huh?

MKM

24 posted on 12/12/2003 11:53:21 AM PST by mykdsmom (Haterade: The official drink of the Democratic Party.)
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To: philman_36; Sabertooth; swarthyguy; Shermy
Individual agents may have monitored these guys, but they were not allowed to do anything more. If Al-Arian was known to be a threat, would he have been allowed to meet with Bush and then visit the White House?
25 posted on 12/12/2003 11:55:35 AM PST by aristeides
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To: aristeides
>>If Al-Arian was known to be a threat, would he have been allowed to meet with Bush and then visit the White House?


Depends if the person who had the President's ear vouched for his bonafides. Not as an islami but as a "moderate".

And institutionally and higher up, we never considered these guys a threat.
26 posted on 12/12/2003 12:02:10 PM PST by swarthyguy
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Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

To: zvigurionAK
Say, what?
28 posted on 12/12/2003 6:09:31 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: zvigurionAK
It's MUCH MUCH later than you think

I agree. The stuff is already here.

Do you concur?

29 posted on 12/12/2003 10:04:11 PM PST by tubavil
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To: zvigurionAK
Welcome to FreeRepublic.....now what you talkin' bout?
30 posted on 12/12/2003 10:23:30 PM PST by MamaLucci (Clinton met with a White House intern more than he did with his CIA director)
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To: Stultis
Thanks for the post. USF hasn't purged info from it's database.
Al-Arian backgrounder at USF
31 posted on 12/12/2003 11:15:24 PM PST by endthematrix (To enter my lane you must use your turn signal!)
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To: MamaLucci
Clinton!
32 posted on 12/13/2003 7:17:46 AM PST by flamefront (To the victor go the oils. No oil or oil-money for islamofascist weapons of mass annihilation.)
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To: flamefront
What about Clinton?
33 posted on 12/13/2003 8:18:03 AM PST by MamaLucci (Clinton met with a White House intern more than he did with his CIA director)
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To: MamaLucci
10 years of neglect throughout the Clinton era.
34 posted on 12/13/2003 11:47:32 AM PST by flamefront (To the victor go the oils. No oil or oil-money for islamofascist weapons of mass annihilation.)
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To: aristeides
If Al-Arian was known to be a threat, would he have been allowed to meet with Bush and then visit the White House?
You throw in the "if" when, to me anyway, there is, and was, no "if".
He was known to be a threat and any who say otherwise are ignorant, then and now.
In part...http://www.fas.org/irp/ops/ci/al-arian_indict_022003.pdf...
26. From in or about 1984, the exact date being unknown to the grand jury, and continuing until in or about the date of this Indictment, in the Middle District of Florida and elsewhere,
A list of names and aka's...
and others, known and unknown, being persons employed by and associated with the enterprise described in Section A of this Count; that is, the PIJ Enterprise, which enterprise engaged in, and its activities affected, interstate and foreign commerce, knowingly, willfully, and unlawfully did combine, conspire, confederate, and agree together and with each other and with other persons, both known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to violate Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962 (c) ; that is, to conduct and participate, directly and indirectly, in the conduct of the affairs of that enterprise, through a pattern of racketeering activity, as defined in Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1961( 1) and ( 5) , consisting of:
(a) multiple acts involving murder, in violation of Florida Statutes 782.04; 777.04( 3) ;
(b) multiple acts involving extortion in violation of Florida Statutes 836.05, 777.011 and 777.04;
(c) acts indictable under title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(a) (2) and (h) [ money laundering ] ;
(d) acts indictable under Title 18, United States Code, Section 1952 [interstate or foreign travel or transportation and use of any facilities in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent to promote and carry on an unlawful activity] ;
(e) acts indictable under Title 18, United States Code, Section 956 [conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim or injure persons in a foreign country] ;
(f) acts indictable under Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339B [ providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations ] ; and
(g) acts indictable under Title 18, United States Code, Section 1546 [ fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents ] .

From in or about 1984 it was known that Al-Arian was a threat!
And one more "if" crusher...November 1994 - A PBS documentary, "Jihad in America" alleges Al-Arian is the head of the Islamic Jihad terrorist group's domestic support network. The documentary was created by Steve Emerson.
1996 - Federal agents say in unsealed court documents that they have probable cause to believe the think tank and the charity are fronts for international terrorists.

And one more "we didn't know" buster...SAMI AL-ARIAN FACT SHEET
Snip...On a videotape of a 1991 conference in Cleveland, Ohio, seized by FBI agents, (found in a 1995 raid on his home) al-Arian is introduced as “the president of the Islamic Committee for Palestine, and a short briefing about the Islamic Committee for Palestine, it is 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.” After being introduced, Al-Arian stated, “Let us continue the protests. Let us damn America. Let us damn Israel. Let us damn their allies until death.”
Of course, the Cartoon put a stop to most of this so as not to hurt the feelings/reputation of the muslim community and the American people at large remained mostly ignorant of most of these things.

The "apologetics" in this whole thing is sickening!

35 posted on 12/13/2003 6:43:23 PM PST by philman_36
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To: philman_36
Sami on video calling for the "Death of Israel"...John Lofuts site.
36 posted on 12/13/2003 9:10:36 PM PST by I got the rope
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To: Stultis
Many of the details of the evidence gathered in the case has been made public since the document was presented to U.S. District Judge Thomas McCoun in subsequent court hearings. The FBI was seeking to convince the judge that Al-Arian and the others constituted a "terrorist cell" of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the United States and said years of money transfers, wire taps and intercepted faxes backup their case.

Myers said in the sworn affidavit that FBI wiretaps dated back to December 1993, years before it became publicly known that Al-Arian and Palestinian Islamic Jihad head Ramadan Shallah were under investigation, the affidavit said. Shallah headed up Al-Arian's think tank until 1995, when he left to assume the leadership of the PIJ.

Not too many years. Here are a few links about what was publicly known about the terror investigation of Sami Al Arian, beginning in 1996. In particular, I've highlighted events between 1996 and Sami Al Arian's visit to the White House in July of 2001.

Timeline of events in the investigation into Sami Al-Arian

By The Associated Press

- 1975: Sami Al-Arian, a Kuwait-born Palestinian, arrives in the United States from Egypt at age 17 to study engineering at Southern Illinois University. He later earns a doctorate in engineering from North Carolina State University.

- Jan. 27, 1986: Sami Al-Arian is hired by the University of South Florida College of Engineering.

- Oct. 20, 1988: Al-Arian incorporates the Islamic Concern Project, an umbrella organization that includes the Islamic Committee for Palestine, a charity devoted to Palestinian causes.

- Feb. 21, 1991: Al-Arian incorporates the World and Islam Studies Enterprise, a think tank in Tampa devoted to Islamic thought and political theory.

- April 7, 1991: A speaker introducing Al-Arian at a Cleveland conference calls the Islamic Committee for Palestine "the active arm of the Jihad movement in Palestine."

- Jan. 22, 1995: Two suicide bombers kill 19 people and injure 69 at an Israeli bus stop. The Islamic Jihad claims responsibility.

- Jan. 24, 1995: President Clinton freezes the assets of foreign terrorist groups, including the Islamic Jihad, and bans financial transactions with them.

- Feb. 1, 1995: Al-Arian writes a letter seeking a donation so operations like the one by "the two mujahidin (warriors) who were martyred for the sake of God" can continue.

- April 9, 1995: A suicide bomber driving a van blows up an Israeli bus in the Gaza Strip, killing eight people, including American seminary student Alisa Flatow.

- Oct. 31, 1995: Former World and Islam Studies Enterprise Director Ramadan Abdullah Shallah emerges as the Islamic Jihad's new leader. The World and Islam Studies Enterprise expresses shock.

- Nov. 20, 1995: Federal agents search World and Islam Studies Enterprise's office and Al- Arian's home and office at USF.

- Feb. 26, 1996: The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service denies Al-Arian's petition for naturalization on grounds he registered to vote, and then voted, in 1994 without being a citizen.

- May 2, 1996: USF places Al-Arian on paid leave, effective Aug. 7, pending the outcome of a federal investigation into whether he was running fronts for terrorist organizations. The university lets him return two years later, citing a staffing need and no law enforcement action.

- May 19, 1997: Federal agents arrest Al-Arian's brother-in-law, Mazen Al-Najjar and use secret evidence to jail him as a security threat. Al-Najjar, who had been fighting a deportation order, worked with Al-Arian at the Islamic Committee for Palestine and the World and Islam Studies Enterprise.

- Dec. 15, 2000: Al-Najjar is released after 3 1/2 years in jail without ever being charged. A federal judge says the use of secret evidence violated his rights.

- Sept. 26, 2001: Al-Arian appears on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor," where he is quizzed about links to known terrorists, and asked about tapes from the late 1980s and early 1990s in which he said "Death to Israel" in Arabic.

- Sept. 28, 2001: USF trustees endorse President Judy Genshaft's decision to suspend Al-Arian with pay on grounds of campus safety.

- Nov. 24, 2001: Federal agents again jail Al-Najjar in preparation for deportation. His attorneys sue for his release, arguing he cannot find a country willing to accept him.

- Dec. 19, 2001: USF trustees recommend firing Al-Arian for not specifying he doesn't represent the university when he speaks and on grounds his outside activities disrupt the university. Genshaft notifies Al-Arian she intends to fire him.

- Feb. 21, 2002: Interim U.S. Attorney Mac Cauley confirms Al-Arian is under federal investigation.

- Aug. 21, 2002: Al-Najjar is deported, ending a long court fight. On the same day, USF asks a state judge to rule on whether firing Al-Arian would violate his First Amendment rights. In November, at Al-Arian's request, the case moves to federal court.

- Dec. 16, 2002: U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew dismisses USF's request, saying the court has no role in a labor dispute.

- Feb. 20, 2003: A federal indictment accuses Al-Arian of being a leader of the Islamic Jihad's operations in the United States. He and seven others are charged in a 50-count indictment that accuses them of running a criminal enterprise and conspiring in the United States to kill and maim others abroad.

- Feb. 26, 2003: USF fires Al-Arian; Genshaft says Al-Arian will longer "be able to hide under the shield of academic freedom."

Timeline of events in the investigation into Sami Al-Arian
AP | March 16th, 2003


The Tampa Tribune reported in an April 18, 1996, story that federal officials said in the affidavits they were investigating possible perjury and immigration law violations and portrayed Al-Arian as who helped Palestinian militants enter the United States.

Among those Al-Arian is accused of aiding is current Palestinian Islamic Jihad head Ramadan Shallah, who worked as a USF instructor in 1995. Shallah, who is now in Syria, was named the head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad immediately after he left the university. The government says Palestinian Islamic Jihad is responsible for more than 100 murders in Israel and its territories.
Judge: Al-Arian search warrant documents accidentally destroyed
AP | December 9th, 2003



For George W. Bush, it was just another campaign stop. But for Sami Al-Arian, a University of South Florida engineering professor, it was a golden opportunity. When Bush appeared at Tampa’s Strawberry Festival in March 2000, Al-Arian sidled up to the candidate and had his picture taken.

< -snip- >

Al-Arian’s politics took on a decidedly darker cast last week when federal agents arrested him at his home in south Florida and charged him with being a top leader of one of the world’s most violent terrorist organizations: Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

< -snip- >

Al-Arian certainly didn’t act like a sponsor of suicide bombings. Far from keeping to the shadows, he repeatedly lobbied Congress on civil-liberties issues, made thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to influential members of Congress and renounced violence during appearances on TV talk shows. In June 2001 Al-Arian was invited to a White House briefing for 150 Muslim American activists, at which political director Karl Rove talked about the Bush administration’s "outreach" efforts. A law-enforcement official told NEWSWEEK the Secret Service had flagged Al-Arian as a potential terrorist prior to the event. But White House aides, apparently reluctant to create an incident, let him through anyway. Such access had its advantages."He always told me the charges were garbage," said Khaled Saffuri, chairman of the Islamic Institute. "When you hear he’s going to the White House, you figure what he’s saying must be true." In fact, federal prosecutors charged last week, Al-Arian carried out his secret terrorist agenda "under the guise of promoting and protecting Arab rights"—making his public profile a critical part of his MO. "It was the perfect cover," said Steven Emerson, a terrorism analyst who has followed Al-Arian for years.
Hiding in Plain Sight (Al Arian at the White House)
Newsweek ^ | March 3rd, 2003 | Michael Isikoff


37 posted on 12/14/2003 7:50:47 AM PST by Sabertooth (Credit where it's due: saveourlicense.com prevented SB60, and the Illegal Alien CDLs... for now.)
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