posted on 12/12/2003 1:22:11 AM PST
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 SILVESTRINIesilvestrini@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.
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.
posted on 12/12/2003 1:28:09 AM PST
...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!
To: Stultis; doug from upland; Shermy
bump for later
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.
posted on 12/12/2003 5:32:49 AM PST
I highly recommend the book Terrorist Hunter
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.
posted on 12/12/2003 7:50:39 AM PST
(Haterade: The official drink of the Democratic Party.)
posted on 12/12/2003 10:28:48 AM PST
|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-ArianBy 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 Tampas Strawberry Festival in March 2000, Al-Arian sidled up to the candidate and had his picture taken.
< -snip- >
Al-Arians 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 worlds most violent terrorist organizations: Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
< -snip- >
Al-Arian certainly didnt 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 administrations "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 hes going to the White House, you figure what hes 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
posted on 12/14/2003 7:50:47 AM PST
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