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Another FBI Agent Blows the WhistleNew evidence FBI quashed another terror probe before 9/11
LA Weekly ^ | Aug 2,2002 | Jim Crogan

Posted on 08/01/2002 12:00:36 PM PDT by honway

WHEN FBI COUNSEL COLLEEN ROWLEY DROPPED her bombshell, a now-famous letter to the director, detailing how bureau higher-ups thwarted attempts to investigate accused 20th hijacker, Zacarias Moussaoui, before the September 11 attacks, she set off a firestorm. The scorching produced a mea culpa of sorts in June from FBI Director Robert Mueller and a promise of reform.

Now there's another whistle blower telling a similar pre-9/11 tale. And so far, the FBI has gone to great lengths to silence him.

The Weekly has learned that Chicago-based special agent Robert Wright has accused the agency of shutting down his 1998 criminal probe into alleged terrorist-training camps in Chicago and Kansas City. The apparent goal of the training camps, according to confidential documents obtained by the Weekly, was to recruit and train Palestinian-American youths, who would then slip into Israel. Recruits at these camps reportedly received weapons training and instruction in bomb-making techniques in the early 1990s. The bomb-making curriculum included the sort of explosives later used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. And government documents state that two trainees came from the Oklahoma City area.

One alleged trainer at the terror camps is now fending off a government lawsuit to seize his bank accounts, car and property for alleged money laundering on behalf of the militant group Hamas. So far, no one has been prosecuted for these alleged terrorism-related activities.

The official government position is that Middle Eastern groups had no involvement in the 1995 bombing carried out by Timothy McVeigh, and that conclusion may stand the test of time. The FBI, however, never fully investigated leads suggesting a different verdict, according to law-enforcement and government sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. Congressional investigators are starting to re-examine the entire matter. There's also another troubling question: Why has the FBI dismissed or ignored evidence linking the Oklahoma City bombing to the Middle East? Is it because these leads are unlikely to pan out or because the agency still has something to hide regarding its own intelligence-gathering lapses?

ROBERT WRIGHT'S STORY IS DIFFICULT TO PIECE together because he is on government orders to remain silent. And by extension so are his attorneys when it comes to confidential information. Wright has written a book, but the agency won't let him publish it or even give it to anyone. All of this is in distinct contrast to the free speech and whistle-blower protections offered to Colleen Rowley, general counsel in the FBI Minneapolis office, who got her story out before the agency could silence her.

Wright, a 12-year bureau veteran, has followed proper channels, sending his book off for an internal review and asking for permission to respond to reporters' queries. Neither of those efforts panned out, and he has since sued the agency over this publication ban. The best he could do was a May 30 press conference in Washington, D.C., where he told curious reporters that he had a whopper of a tale to tell, if only he could.

Wright did say that FBI bureaucrats "intentionally and repeatedly thwarted his attempts to launch a more comprehensive investigation to identify and neutralize terrorists." And that "FBI management failed to take seriously the threat of terrorism in the U.S." Wright was careful not to i llegally disclose any confidential details about what he knew, but tears filled his eyes as he apologized to the families of September 11 victims for the Bureau's mistakes leading up to 9/11. He also made a tantalizing reference to his removal from a money-laundering case that, he implied, had a direct connection to investigations into terrorism.

This still-active case centers on Mohammed Abdul Hamid Khalil Salah, 49, a naturalized American citizen who was born in Jerusalem. Salah has described himself as a humanitarian who distributed money collected in the U.S. to needy West Bank Palestinian families. He's also reportedly worked in Arab-owned grocery stores, as a used car salesman and as a computer analyst for a Chicago-based Islamic charitable group, the Quranic Literacy Institute, which the FBI alleges was involved in money laundering. Institute and Muslim leaders have vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

Both the American and Israeli governments contend that Salah served as a money courier for the terrorist group Hamas. Salah's attorney in the civil action, Mathew Piers, did not return phone calls from the Weekly. But in published accounts, Piers adamantly denied that his client was a bagman for Hamas. Salah and his wife are still living

in Chicago in a house the government is trying to seize.

In June 1998, the feds filed a civil assets-forfeiture suit against Salah. Such actions are frequently used to seize the money and property of drug dealers. In the Salah case, the U.S. Attorney's Office went after personal property and accounts in seven banks, with a total estimated value of $1.5 million. In the civil complaint, the government alleged that Salah intended the funds would "support a conspiracy involving international terrorist activities, [and] the domestic recruitment and training in support of such activities, including extortion, kidnapping and murder of citizens of Israel."

Attached to the complaint is a 40-page sworn affidavit from agent Wright. In it, Wright details bank accounts, property deals and money transfers designed to support Hamas. But among the most intriguing elements is a reference to Salah's earlier trial in Israel, which received substantial press coverage in Israel at the time.

In 1993, Israeli intelligence arrested Salah and another naturalized American, Mohammed Jarad, on suspicion of transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars to Hamas for guns and ammunition.

Salah was interrogated by Israeli military intelligence -- he says he was tortured, a claim the Israelis deny. Under interrogation, Salah reportedly confessed to recruiting Islamic militants and then helping to instruct them in the use of poisons, chemical weapons and explosives. The training supposedly occurred in the late 1980s. Later, in 1991, Salah allegedly served as a financial agent for Hamas, opening accounts at a number of Chicago-area banks. Wright's affidavit states that between June 1991 and December 1992, Salah spent more than $100,000 in direct support of Hamas military activities. Wright added that the weapons purchased were used in Hamas assaults and suicide attacks on Israeli citizens.

In 1994, at Salah's secret military trial, Israeli prosecutors introduced a statement signed by another Palestinian detainee, Naser Hidmi, formerly a student at Kansas State University. Hidmi stated in an affidavit that he accepted Salah's invitation to a four-day "retreat" at a camp in the Chicago area in June 1990. At the camp, he reportedly studied Hamas philosophy and received explosives training. Hidmi also asserted in his statement that he met Salah again at a conference of Muslim youth held in Kansas City in December of the same year. On that occasion, Hidmi claimed he got more Hamas training and Salah participated in the instruction.

In 1995, Salah pleaded guilty to funneling funds to Hamas and he served about five years in prison before being released and deported to the U.S. Mohammed Jarah served six months in jail following a plea bargain to a lesser charge.

While Salah sat in an Israeli prison, the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control added his name to the list of "Specially Designated Terrorists," because of his alleged Hamas connections. After he returned to Chicago, Salah found himself squarely in the FBI's crosshairs. In 1995, Wright began investigating money laundering on behalf of international terrorist organizations. This investigation led him to Salah.

Wright's affidavit alleges that Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, a Hamas leader, directed Salah's activites, at one point authorizing him to give $790,000 to Hamas military units. The Israeli government indicted Marzook, while he was living in the U.S., for abetting terror attacks in Israel. American authorities arrested Marzook and held him for two years before deporting him to Jordan.

Wright also alleged that Salah funneled money through Switzerland via Saudi businessman Yassin Kadi. The U.S. government has since designated Kadi as a financial supporter of Osama bin Laden and frozen his American assets. Kadi too has denied any wrongdoing.

The assets-forfeiture case against Salah, which was filed in an Illinois federal court, remains active. Wright was removed from the case shortly after it was filed. And he would apparently contend, if allowed to talk, that his FBI superiors ordered him to drop any criminal investigation into Salah and the terrorist camps allegedly run by Hamas.

WRIGHT'S WAS NOT THE ONLY PROBE of Middle Eastern links to terrorists and acts of terror in the U.S. Unbeknownst to Wright, an investigation of Salah and his alleged involvement in training camps was undertaken by the House of Representatives Republican Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare. This task force, as previously reported in the Weekly, had issued alerts to law enforcement and U.S. intelligence agencies in the months prior to the Oklahoma City bombing. It had warned of an impending Islamist terror campaign, allegedly run by Hamas and directed by Iran.

After the 1995 blast, Oklahoma City­based television reporter Jayna Davis spoke numerous times with task-force executive director Yossef Bodansky. He eventually gave her a memo in which he'd summarized intelligence reports detailing the operations of the terror camps. In the memo, constructed from his intelligence reports, Bodansky wrote that Iranian intelligence had ordered Hamas to develop cadres from among Palestinian youth living in the U.S.

"The idea," Bodansky wrote, "was to build a group of highly trained Arabs with U.S. passports who can be inserted into Israel to replace local cadres killed or arrested by Israeli Forces." The Iranians, Bodansky contended, argued that Israel would treat the Americans with "kid gloves." He also stated it would be easier for these recruits to infiltrate Israel with U.S. documents.

Bodansky declined to be interviewed by the Weekly, but in the memo, Bodansky also alleged that the first round of training took place in Chicago, "organized by Muhammad Salah" in 1990. Bodansky stated that "25 trainees" took part and all were given code names.

"Salah and five other instructors, including a Libyan-American, who was a former Marine," he wrote, conducted training. The instruction included military topics, sabotage, and one group received "detailed instructions on building car bombs from readily available, off the shelf materials."

Bodansky also wrote that a second round of training occurred at a December 1990 Hamas youth conference in Kansas City. "Secret sessions," he added, "were devoted to leadership and command training." Another round of training also occurred in Kansas City in 1991. During this meeting, he said, some people were given "highly detailed and practical instructions in supervising the construction of explosives, including car bombs like the one used in Oklahoma City."

The operatives, Bodansky stated, were then assigned to locations throughout the U.S. He also alleged that so-called "Lilly whites" were subsequently trained at the same Chicago camps in 1993. These were people, whose backgrounds he stated, would not make them suspect. These individuals were given weapons training as well as the latest instruction in bomb-making techniques. Two individuals from Oklahoma City, he added, attended this camp. Bodansky did not name these men.

The information supplied to reporter Davis mirrors the information about Salah and the terror training camps that emerged from Israel and through Wright's affidavit. Wright's attorney told the Weekly that Wright knew nothing of Bodansky's parallel investigation.

TO DATE, THE FBI AND DEPARTMENT OF Justice have seemingly exerted more effort in shutting down these leads than pursuing them. Last October, the Justice Department blocked the court appearance of retired Oklahoma City FBI agent Dan Vogel at a hearing in the state murder case against convicted Oklahoma City­accomplice Terry Nichols. In an interview with the Weekly, Vogel said he intended to tell the court the truth -- that he had accepted evidence from former TV reporter Jayna Davis that tied Timothy McVeigh, Nichols and a group of Iraqis working in Oklahoma City to a larger bombing conspiracy.

Vogel said he passed the materials to the Bureau but was later told the documents were returned because of questions regarding who owned the documents. Davis and her attorneys contend that the documents were never returned. Whatever the case, the Bureau's reputed rationale for spurning potential evidence is slim indeed.

Wright got no explanation at all when he was ordered to cease his own probe, said Chicago-based attorney David Schippers, who is representing Wright along with Judicial Watch, a Washington, D.C.­based legal foundation. (Schippers is most famous for his role as lead counsel spearheading the House impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.) "Bob was simply pulled off these investigations," said Schippers. The FBI "just shut down the operations and never told him why."

The FBI and the Department of Justice declined comment for this story.

Wright chronicled his allegations against the Bureau in a complaint filed with the Inspector General's Office of the Department of Justice. The FBI, in turn, has threatened to discipline or fire Wright if he publicizes the details of the complaint. The Inspector General's Office has failed to act, referring the matter to Congress instead. And there, finally, investigators got interested, and called Wright in for an interview, said sources close to the investigation. It remains to be seen how far and how vigorously these leads will be pursued.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 911; bodansky; conspiracy; hamasjaynadavis; okcbombing; salah; trainingcamps; wright
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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After the 1995 blast, Oklahoma City­based television reporter Jayna Davis spoke numerous times with task-force executive director Yossef Bodansky. He eventually gave her a memo in which he'd summarized intelligence reports detailing the operations of the terror camps. In the memo, constructed from his intelligence reports, Bodansky wrote that Iranian intelligence had ordered Hamas to develop cadres from among Palestinian youth living in the U.S.
1 posted on 08/01/2002 12:00:36 PM PDT by honway
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To: honway
bump
2 posted on 08/01/2002 12:02:27 PM PDT by VOA
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To: OKCSubmariner; Fred Mertz; glorygirl; thinden; BlueDogDemo; Wallaby; rdavis84
bump
3 posted on 08/01/2002 12:04:01 PM PDT by honway
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To: honway; Nita Nupress; Fred Mertz; Wallaby; aristeides; rdavis84; glorygirl
The official government position is that Middle Eastern groups had no involvement in the 1995 bombing carried out by Timothy McVeigh, and that conclusion may stand the test of time. The FBI, however, never fully investigated leads suggesting a different verdict, according to law-enforcement and government sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

the KC & chicago training camps were associated with hamas. wasn't this the same core group residing in OKC?

4 posted on 08/01/2002 12:05:39 PM PDT by thinden
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To: honway
Bush could call up Mueller today and release this info. He won't. Wonder why?
5 posted on 08/01/2002 12:09:40 PM PDT by Wm Bach
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To: honway; Fred Mertz; Nita Nupress; Wallaby; MizSterious; OKCSubmariner
Salah has described himself as a humanitarian who distributed money collected in the U.S. to needy West Bank Palestinian families. He's also reportedly worked in Arab-owned grocery stores, as a used car salesman and as a computer analyst for a Chicago-based Islamic charitable group, the Quranic Literacy Institute, which the FBI alleges was involved in money laundering.

another computer consultant. must be a popular muslim vocation?

similar to the michigan "computer salesman" bag man caught with millions in bogus cashier's checks...and the seattle dude who set up the web site for sakina security.

6 posted on 08/01/2002 12:12:09 PM PDT by thinden
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To: *OKCbombing; *Conspiracy
Index Bump
7 posted on 08/01/2002 12:18:40 PM PDT by Free the USA
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To: thinden; AtticusX; mancini; rdavis84; Nancie Drew; BlueDogDemo; aristeides; Plummz; Nita Nupress; ..
The operatives, Bodansky stated, were then assigned to locations throughout the U.S. He also alleged that so-called "Lilly whites" were subsequently trained at the same Chicago camps in 1993... Two individuals from Oklahoma City, he added, attended this camp. Bodansky did not name these men.

This is getting more interesting every day.

8 posted on 08/01/2002 12:29:31 PM PDT by Fred Mertz
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To: honway
bump for later reading.
9 posted on 08/01/2002 12:37:39 PM PDT by lelio
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To: honway; Nita Nupress; rubbertramp; Fred Mertz; Lion's Cub; BlueDogDemo
The operatives, Bodansky stated, were then assigned to locations throughout the U.S. He also alleged that so-called "Lilly whites" were subsequently trained at the same Chicago camps in 1993. These were people, whose backgrounds he stated, would not make them suspect. These individuals were given weapons training as well as the latest instruction in bomb-making techniques. Two individuals from Oklahoma City, he added, attended this camp. Bodansky did not name these men.

kinda reinforces the "lilly white" scenario in OKC?

would david shippers be privvy to this info?

10 posted on 08/01/2002 12:40:50 PM PDT by thinden
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To: thinden
Wright got no explanation at all when he was ordered to cease his own probe, said Chicago-based attorney David Schippers, who is representing Wright...

answered my own question down the article.

11 posted on 08/01/2002 12:46:22 PM PDT by thinden
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To: honway; Fred Mertz; Nita Nupress; rdavis84; steve50; BlueDogDemo; Nancie Drew
Last October, the Justice Department blocked the court appearance of retired Oklahoma City FBI agent Dan Vogel at a hearing in the state murder case against convicted Oklahoma City­accomplice Terry Nichols. In an interview with the Weekly, Vogel said he intended to tell the court the truth -- that he had accepted evidence from former TV reporter Jayna Davis that tied Timothy McVeigh, Nichols and a group of Iraqis working in Oklahoma City to a larger bombing conspiracy.

this is an outrage!

12 posted on 08/01/2002 12:48:47 PM PDT by thinden
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To: honway; Nita Nupress; aristeides; Alamo-Girl; thinden
Jayna Davis was just interviewed about an hour ago on the Michael Smerconish show in Philadelphia (WPHT 1210). She talked about the Hamas camps in Chicago and Kansas City and also talked about Salah and Wright. A caller just raised the story of McVeigh having Iraqi phone numbers. Sen. Arlen Specter is coming up.
13 posted on 08/01/2002 1:09:17 PM PDT by Wallaby
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To: thinden
Sen. "Not Proven" is now on. First question: Has the administration made the case for war with Iraq? Specter says no. Also doesn't think the previous resolution covers an attack on Iraq because it is about Al-Qaeda. Now Jayna Davis story raised. Specter says he's following up on the story. Asked about Torricelli, he punts "I don't know the details beyond what is in the public domain. Now it is up to the voters of NJ."
14 posted on 08/01/2002 1:13:42 PM PDT by Wallaby
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To: thinden
the KC & chicago training camps were associated with hamas. wasn't this the same core group residing in OKC?

There is an active Hamas cell in OKC today, as well as in 1995 and before. Allegedly, Samir Khalil, Al- Hussaini's OKC employeer is associated with the Hamas cell in OKC.

The entire OKC ME terrorist story is huge and would be overwhelming for the average citizen that receives all their information on the OKC bombing from the mainstream media.

Is it possible a decision has been made by Schippers and those working with him to trickle out the information to avoid information overload on the public?

15 posted on 08/01/2002 1:15:32 PM PDT by honway
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To: Wallaby
"Sen. Arlen Specter is coming up". I'm sure he'll clear all this up as a silly misunderstanding.
16 posted on 08/01/2002 1:16:44 PM PDT by RedwM
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To: RedwM
See my post #14 for a summation of his 2 minutes. A big disappointment. (What a surprise!) Smerconish was exceedingly solicitous. Let Specter get by with just a "we're looking into it" response to the Davis interview.
17 posted on 08/01/2002 1:20:58 PM PDT by Wallaby
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To: honway
special agent Robert Wright has accused the agency of shutting down his 1998 criminal probe into alleged terrorist-training camps in Chicago and Kansas City...

One of these days, I hope to see somebody, anybody, actually held accountable for the 8 years of Klintonista treason that occured wrt the security of this country. Its only a dream I have...

18 posted on 08/01/2002 1:22:47 PM PDT by Magnum44
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To: honway
bttt
19 posted on 08/01/2002 1:24:04 PM PDT by Travis McGee
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To: Wallaby
Thanks for the heads up!
20 posted on 08/01/2002 1:24:28 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Wallaby
Thanks for the earwitness report Wallaby.
21 posted on 08/01/2002 1:25:54 PM PDT by Fred Mertz
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To: honway; Wallaby; Nita Nupress
Is it possible a decision has been made by Schippers and those working with him to trickle out the information to avoid information overload on the public?

add legs with patterson's indy star piece, the WSJ piece, along w/ jayna davis interview and this thing's moving.

22 posted on 08/01/2002 1:28:19 PM PDT by thinden
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To: Wallaby
Sen. Arlen Specter is coming up. He no doubt has ancient Scottish telephone numbers.
23 posted on 08/01/2002 1:53:30 PM PDT by Big Bunyip
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To: thinden; Big Bunyip; honway; aristeides; Alamo-Girl; Fred Mertz; Nita Nupress
Perhaps this has already been posted, but it didn't come up for me on a search.


Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.

CODE OF QUIET
Geoffrey Gray
The Village Voice; Features; Pg. 43
June 25, 2002, Tuesday


She didn't want to talk. She hadn't answered the phone in weeks. Picking it up this time was a fluke. ''I'm just trying to focus on my work,'' Coleen Rowley, the FBI's most outspoken special agent, told the Voice two days before testifying for the Senate Judiciary Committee. ''I'm just trying to get back,'' she added, ''back to the way it was.''


Bob Novak started the questioning: ''Mr. Wright, your charges against the FBI are really more disturbing, more serious, than Ms. Rowley's. Why is it, do you think, that you have been ignored by the media, ignored by the congressional committees, and no attention has been paid to your allegations?'' Wright paused. ''I don't know the true reasons for that.''
That's a long way from where she is now, a long way from the fitful nights in May when she typed that 13-page memo to the chief at headquarters and transformed herself, virtually overnight, into America's most courageous counterterrorism superhero, ''Cassandra'' Rowley, whistle-blower extraordinaire--the 20-year veteran who blasted her bosses as ''careerists'' and claimed her beloved agency "circled the wagons'' to cover up a score of pre--9-11 intelligence blunders.

''It wasn't my intention to get the media involved,'' she said, in her Fargo-sweet accent. ''Gosh, now it's a little like . . . whoa! . . .

It's pretty way out there.'' Was she worried about retaliation? Losing her job? Public smears?

She had to leave for Washington. She didn't want to say.

Enter the patriotic tattletale, star of America's most thrilling political drama. Martyrdom. Public interest. Betrayal. The stakes could not be higher, nor the poorly dressed characters and overwrought plot more ripe for prime time. It's Must-See Reality TV.

But a story like Rowley's often ends years later with a subtle game of bureaucratic payback, a bitter finale the public rarely gets to witness.

Rowley has been promised protection. Some think her mass exposure will provide her with a shield of immunity. So far, the Minneapolis field office reports that no investigations into her situation exist, and at the word of FBI director Robert Mueller, there will be none in the future.

Public promises, counter a chorus of former whistle-blowers, only last so long. ''It's great TV for now,'' says Notra Trulock, former director of intelligence for the Department of Energy, ''but she has no idea what's she's gotten herself into.''

The first stop on the whistle-blower's roller coaster to ruin? Discreditation. That's what happened to Trulock, who was accused of racial bias when he blew the whistle on the bungled investigation into Wen Ho Lee, a scientist accused of spying for China.

''Anonymous news leaks always come first,'' he says. Fellow agents will peek into Rowley's personnel file, quiz her colleagues about her habits, and find something to feed the press, and already rumors are being whispered on the Hill. The gossip: Rowley once punished a whistle-blower herself.

Next, say those who've taken the ride, comes a gamut of retaliatory tactics: harassment from supervisors, the loss of office allies, a stripping of security clearance, the monitoring of activities, inter-office relocation--one Department of Agriculture informer was moved to a desk in the hallway outside the bathroom!--demotions, psychiatric or medical referrals, or ''administrative leave,'' to put it euphemistically.

''The FBI never fires whistle-blowers, directly,'' says psychiatric social worker Don Soeken.

In the late '70s, Soeken worked for the U.S. Public Health Service, and his job was to perform ''fitness for duty'' examinations for federal employees whose supervisors thought they were mentally unstable. But Soeken noticed something curious about his clientele. All his patients seemed to be whistle-blowers, Soeken says, and he was asked to label the muckrakers mentally unfit, giving the government the green light to dismiss them. Soeken refused. He then became a whistle-blower himself, reporting the shameful practice to Congress, and now helps whistle-blowers recover on a farm in West Virginia. He calls it the Whistlestop. ''There's only one commandment in the FBI,'' says one of his patients, Fred Whitehurst. ''Thou shall not say anything bad about the FBI.'' Whitehurst used to be the FBI's chief forensic scientist for explosives analysis; he examined the powders left on the rubble from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. For over a decade, he watched other lab scientists fudging reports to make quick criminal convictions. He howled. Now he lives in the backwoods of North Carolina, runs a forensic watchdog group, and drives a stripped-down Ford truck with crank-up windows. Like Rowley, Whitehurst was praised in Congress for his courage. Senators promised him an award ceremony in the White House Rose Garden. What he got instead were demotions, a missing medical record, internal investigations, followed by psychological treatments. ''The FBI will push you 'til you break,'' he says, ''and you can never return from your day in the sun.'' Like many other agents, he was flown to the Isaac Ray Center in Chicago to undergo a fitness-for-duty evaluation. For 27 years, Isaac Ray has enjoyed a contract to treat FBI personnel, and in addition to working on criminals and delinquents, they've also shrunk the heads of celebrity madmen like John F. Hinckley Jr. ''Vulgar rape'' is how Whitehurst describes his experience there. ''I was sentenced to a room for nine hours and wasn't even allowed to pee.'' Isaac Ray denies the spooky, X-Files allegations. Evaluations--which can stretch over several days and cost over $10,000--are based on a comprehensive test featuring 565 yes-or-no questions, according to the center, and that test has not changed in 30 years. ''People like Whitehurst who are 'normal' are going to have trouble if you give them enough stress over a long period of time,'' says center president Dr. James Cavanaugh. ''But I can assure you nobody is being submitted to vulgarities or unusual procedures.'' Whitehurst says he had no choice but to undergo the treatment, because if he refused, the bureau would fire him for insubordination.

''The strange thing is, Americans pray for patriotic individuals to save them from national disasters,'' Whitehurst says. ''But when that someone comes along, they slice into your abdomen, pull 30 feet of gut out, stomp on it, and then what kind of hero are you?

''You're not. You've been branded as a loon. All you have to do in the FBI is step in the line of fire. You'll get blown away.''

The same day Rowley left for Washington, a colleague of hers, Special Agent Robert Wright, was waiting a few hundred miles away in the FBI's Chicago field office. Wright was getting nervous. Again. The producers from CNN's Crossfire had been calling; they wanted the young, baby-faced Fed on their Thursday night show, with Carville and Novak, to coincide with the presumed lead story, Rowley's testimony. At the advice of his counsel, Wright agreed.

Wright's a whistle-blower, too--well, sort of. He's a money guy, tracks the accounts of international terrorists, and like Rowley, he claims his investigation, code named Vulgar Betrayal, was obstructed by the bureau. Like Rowley, he also has suggested 9-11 could have been prevented. But unlike her, he can't seem to find anyone in Washington who'll listen.

Bob Novak started the questioning: ''Mr. Wright, your charges against the FBI are really more disturbing, more serious, than Ms. Rowley's. Why is it, do you think, that you have been ignored by the media, ignored by the congressional committees, and no attention has been paid to your allegations?''

Wright paused. ''I don't know the true reasons for that.''

Part of the problem started with him. He asked the FBI for permission to go public with his 500-page manuscript, which he says outlines the failures of the FBI's counterterrorism efforts. Muzzled by the Office of Public and Congressional Affairs, he sought help last summer from Judicial Watch, a Washington nonprofit famous for suing government to get documents and expose corruption. Judicial Watch is now suing the FBI for him. And his life is slowly going to hell.

Once on Al Qaeda's trail, Wright now works run-of-the-mill bank fraud cases. He's also been hit with two claims of harassment--one sexual, one racial--both deemed baseless by his lawyers. No one, it would seem, takes him seriously--except Judicial Watch, who are calling him another victim of the bureau's ''culture of fear.''

Coleen Rowley walked into the chambers of the Senate Judiciary Committee like John Wayne, wearing a badge and carrying her pistol. Yet with a frumpy jacket and oversized glasses, she looked like a stressed librarian, the sleepless owner of many cats. Hours before, her boss had promised the nation he would protect her. But nothing in the law requires him to. Federal whistle-blower statutes don't apply to FBI agents. Rather than being reviewed by a third party, their complaints are handled internally. Shielded by nothing but her naivete and the goodwill of her boss, Rowley sat alone before a hundred flashbulbs and told the world the FBI needs to change, quickly. She was polite, thorough, boring.

During the recess, the network pundits seemed disappointed with the performance. Sure, Rowley had fleshed out the details of her letter, they argued, but she wasn't naming names. She showed no outrage. She wasn't acting like a whistle-blower. She even commended Bob Mueller! She was positive about change! Hardly the renegade tone for what could be the last words of a martyr. ''Maybe the 'treatment' will be different for Rowley,'' says Soeken, ''but I doubt it.''


24 posted on 08/01/2002 3:02:50 PM PDT by Wallaby
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To: ofMagog
[Psychiatric] Evaluations--which can stretch over several days and cost over $10,000--are based on a comprehensive test featuring 565 yes-or-no questions, according to the center, and that test has not changed in 30 years.

About how many questions are on the MMPI? Any idea? Just curious...

25 posted on 08/01/2002 3:12:53 PM PDT by Nita Nupress
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To: Wallaby
Great find, Wallaby. I don't have time right now to read this entire thread, but I did read the Village Voice article. Will try to come back later tonight.
26 posted on 08/01/2002 3:15:21 PM PDT by Nita Nupress
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To: Wm Bach
Mueller must go he is one of the enemies within! He thinks Islam is just fine and dandy!
27 posted on 08/01/2002 3:15:33 PM PDT by TLBSHOW
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To: Nita Nupress; honway; aristeides; thinden; Fred Mertz
Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.

Parents of slain New Yorker sue Hamas-linked groups for damages
By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer
Associated Press
May 14, 2000

Washington
The parents of an American teen-ager slain on the West Bank have filed suit in a federal court in Chicago against Islamic groups and charities, claiming they raised money in the United States for Hamas, a radical Islamic group that has carried out dozens of suicide bombings against Israelis.


Also among the defendants is Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, a native of Gaza who was deported to Jordan in 1997 and then deported from the kingdom last year when King Abdullah closed the Hamas political bureau in Amman, and Mohammed Abdul Hamid Khalil Salah, described as the leader of Hamas" military branch and a resident of Illinois.
In an apparently unprecedented move, Stanley and Joyce Boim, former New Yorkers who now live in Jerusalem, invoked the federal anti-terrorism law of 1990 against what their suit described as Hamas-front organizations and individuals who collected funds in the United States for relief and development on the West Bank and in Gaza.

The Boims asked for $600 million in damages in what could be the first effort by individuals to use federal terrorism laws against what the suit called "a network of front organizations" in the United States that raise money for Islamic causes.

Actually, the suit contended, the money was channeled to terrorists and some of it was used to pay for the vehicle, machine guns and ammunition used to kill the Boims' son David, a 17-year-old yeshiva student who was gunned down in 1996 waiting with other students at a bus stop in Beit El, on the West Bank. Earlier, the two attackers had opened fire on a civilian bus and injured two passengers.

The Palestinian Authority apprehended Amjad Hinawi and Khalif Tawfiq Al-Sharif, described in the court papers as known members of Hamas' military wing, in 1997.

Hinawi confessed and was tried and convicted by a Palestinian court in 1997 and sentenced in 1998 to 10 years in prison. According to the suit, Al-Sharif was released by Palestinian authorities and participated in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem in 1997 in which five civilians were killed and 192 injured.

Among the groups named as defendants were Quranic Literacy Institute, with offices in Oak Lawn, Ill.; Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a California corporation with a branch office in Illinois; and Islamic Association for Palestine. The Quranic institute is said to translate and publish sacred Islamic texts. The Holy Land foundation claims to conduct a variety of humanitarian relief and development efforts. The Islamic association disseminates information on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Also among the defendants is Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, a native of Gaza who was deported to Jordan in 1997 and then deported from the kingdom last year when King Abdullah closed the Hamas political bureau in Amman, and Mohammed Abdul Hamid Khalil Salah, described as the leader of Hamas" military branch and a resident of Illinois.

A telephone number is listed for a Mohammed Salah in Bridgeview, Ill., but efforts to reach him were unsuccessful because the number is not published.

"In general, the allegations that have been brought against us in this case and the preceding case that's still in court are utterly false," said Ahmer Haleem, secretary of the Quranic Literacy Institute in Oak Lawn, Ill., a suburb just sought of Chicago. "In my judgment, they are persecutorial in nature.

"I think that it's important for people in the media to begin to take a deeper look at what's happening to Muslims in America," Halem said, adding that he believes Muslims are being unfairly targeted by government authorities, such as the FBI as part of an aggressive anti-terrorism effort.

"Rather than protecting American citizens, they are targeting Muslims," he said. "There's an assumption in the media that Muslims are somehow associated with terrorism. It's as dangerous as the Oklahoma bombing situation pointed out."

Haleem's reference to the "preceding case" was to a civil forfeiture action brought by the Justice Department under the same law relied on by the suits filed Friday by individual platintiffs. The Justice Department civil case has been put on hold by a federal judge as the request of the defendants, who said they also were subjects of a criminal investigation.

A message left Sunday with the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development branch in Palos Hills, Ill., was not immediately returned.

No listing could be found in Illinois for a branch of the Islamic Association for Palestine.

28 posted on 08/01/2002 3:22:08 PM PDT by Wallaby
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To: honway; OKCSubmariner; Nita Nupress; thinden; rdavis84; independentmind; aristeides; BlueDogDemo
Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.

Court says parents of teen killed in Islamic militants can sue fund-raising groups
Associated Press
June 6, 2002, Thursday, BC cycle

CHICAGO
The parents of an American teen-ager killed by members of a Palestinian militant group in the West Bank can sue U.S. Islamic charities accused of contributing to the organization, a federal appeals court ruled.


Named as defendants in the Boims' lawsuit are Quranic Literacy Institute of Oak Lawn; Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which has offices in Palos Hills; and Mohammed Abdul Hamid Khalil Salah, a Bridgeview resident who served five years in an Israeli prison for funneling funds to Hamas.
Wednesday's decision by a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allows the family to use a never-tested law and could bolster lawsuits filed by victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"It should be taken as a warning to any contributors to an organization that supports terrorism that if there is an American victim, he can sue the contributors and recover huge damages in an American court," said Nathan Lewin, an attorney for Joyce and Stanley Boim. The couple filed a $300 million lawsuit in the 1996 killing of their son, David, by Hamas militants.

The court's decision marked the first time a federal appeals court ruled on the provisions of the 1992 federal Anti-Terrorism Act, which allows for the recovery of damages due to acts of terrorism.

"It's a notable decision both for the fact that it addresses a very interesting and largely unsettled free-speech issue and it arises in the context of lots of terrorist acts taking place," said Jesse Chopper, law professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

Attorneys for the charities, which had appealed a trial judge's decision not to throw out the lawsuit, argue that only people who commit terrorist acts can be sued under the law.

Named as defendants in the Boims' lawsuit are Quranic Literacy Institute of Oak Lawn; Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which has offices in Palos Hills; and Mohammed Abdul Hamid Khalil Salah, a Bridgeview resident who served five years in an Israeli prison for funneling funds to Hamas.

The groups have said there is no way they could have known that any money they contributed to organizations on the West Bank would be used in the Boim shooting.

John Beal, an attorney representing the Quranic Literacy Institute, which translates Islamic texts, said no decision has been made on whether to ask the full court to hear the case or appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Holy Land Foundation, whose offices were raided and closed by the U.S. Treasury Department in December as part of a terrorism investigation, has denied supporting terrorism, saying it raises funds for humanitarian and disaster relief. Salah couldn't be reached for comment because he has an unlisted phone number.

The Boims are former New Yorkers who live in Jerusalem. Their son was a 17-year-old yeshiva student when he was gunned down while waiting with other students at a bus stop in the Jewish settlement of Beit El. The men apprehended in the attack were described in court papers as members of Hamas.

29 posted on 08/01/2002 3:26:51 PM PDT by Wallaby
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To: honway
W.T F. is going on with those FBI people?! W.T.F.
30 posted on 08/01/2002 3:30:58 PM PDT by timestax
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To: Nita Nupress
About how many questions are on the MMPI? Any idea? Just curious...

MMPI

Administer To Individuals 18 years and older

Reading Level 6th grade

Completion Time 60-90 minutes (567 true/false items*)

*Seems kind of close to "565 yes-or-no questions", no?

31 posted on 08/01/2002 3:44:48 PM PDT by PhilDragoo
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To: Wallaby; honway; Fred Mertz
The Holy Land Foundation, whose offices were raided and closed by the U.S. Treasury Department in December as part of a terrorism investigation.

couple questions:

was the Holy Land Foundation the operation in the Dallas area that was raided/shut down the week preceeding 9/11?
have US authorities frozen/siezed Holy Land Foundation assets in the U.S.?

p.s. looks like this case has been going on for a couple years now.

32 posted on 08/01/2002 3:45:00 PM PDT by thinden
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To: thinden
InfoCom Corp in Richardson outside Dallas was raided by over 80 FBI agents one week before 9-11.
33 posted on 08/01/2002 3:54:58 PM PDT by Wallaby
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To: thinden
Excerpt of "Internet Business Target of FBI raid," AP, September 6, 2001:
The warrant was sealed by a Dallas judge and federal agents refused comment on the motive of the raid. But agents appeared to copying from computer hard drives and had cut off the Internet service to company's 500 clients.

One of those clients, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which calls itself the nation's largest Muslim charity, is located just across the street from the Internet business.

During the raid, InfoCom's employees relocated to the foundation's offices.

Holy Land has itself been under federal investigation for alleged ties to Hamas and has been outlawed in Israel, where the Palestinian movement has been blamed for terrorist attacks.


34 posted on 08/01/2002 3:57:26 PM PDT by Wallaby
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To: honway
This is not a new story. The LA Weekly apparantly just picked up on it.

It was posted here via Newsmax article dated 3-14-02

Scandal Inside the FBI: Did G-Men Miss the Boat on 9-11?
Wes Vernon

Thursday, March 14, 2002

WASHINGTON – NewsMax.com has learned that active FBI Special Agent Robert Wright Jr. is about to blow the whistle on his superiors for hindering investigations that might have prevented the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
Judicial Watch, the public interest law firm, scheduled, then postponed, a press conference for Wednesday where Wright, cloaked in anonymity until now, was going to tell the entire story.

The shocking details should be out in a few days.

Wright complains that when he tried to continue and pursue certain terrorist investigations, he met with retaliation from his bosses and from the Justice Department, which made it clear that it wanted the probes to go no further.

Prior to putting off the news conference, Judicial Watch said that "based on the evidence, the FBI special agent believes that if certain investigations had been allowed to run their course, Osama bin Laden’s network might have been prevented from committing the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 innocents."

Insiders believe that after this full story breaks, Wright’s career will be toast. Only public outrage can save him.

Meanwhile, Judicial Watch, which is representing Wright, is requesting a full independent investigation.

Assisting the law firm in this case is none other than David Schippers – the same Schippers whose quiet, methodical and damning leadership in the Clinton investigation led to the then-president’s impeachment.

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/3/13/94339.shtml

Wash Times article from May 30, 2002 here

http://www.washtimes.com/upi-breaking/30052002-054621-5800r.htm

[snip]
"Wright, who is attached to the Chicago Field Office of the FBI, held a Washington news conference sponsored by Judicial Watch -- a private, conservative watch dog group -- at which he read from and released a copy of a lawsuit he has launched against the FBI, and an exchange of letters about a book he is seeking to publish. He declined to answer questions."

[end snip]

Remember this guy. Not that he doesn't have some valid info, but he's the guy who was writing the book and they wouldn't let him publish it they claimed because of an ongoing investigation.

Remember him, the guy that started crying at the Washington Press Conference?

He may well have valid information, but a lot of people that commented on this story back in March were fairly skeptical about a guy that seemed to have as his top priority publishing a book. The FBI wouldn't give it the green light so he hired Larry Klayman and filed a lawsuit and started holding press conferences.


35 posted on 08/01/2002 3:59:31 PM PDT by terilyn
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To: timestax
What's going on with the FBI? They're up to their ears in every criminal conspiracy going, it seems.

If it isn't Whitey Bulger and the Rifleman murdering people for decades with the full knowledge of the directors of the FBI, it's Clinton's fascist cabal covering up Oklahoma City, Waco, TWA 800, and looking the other way when they're told that terrorists are planning to kill more Americans.

Yeah, this used to be real "tinfoiler" stuff. Right now, it looks like the tinfoilers are the only people in this country with any intelligence at all.

36 posted on 08/01/2002 4:06:46 PM PDT by Reactionary
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To: Wallaby
ah.

holy land was a client.

I think there shared office space or were in the same building or something like that.

37 posted on 08/01/2002 4:07:12 PM PDT by thinden
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To: Reactionary
Right now, it looks like the tinfoilers are the only people in this country with any intelligence at all.

who knows? (please pass the reynolds wrap)

38 posted on 08/01/2002 4:09:46 PM PDT by thinden
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To: honway
TO DATE, THE FBI AND DEPARTMENT OF Justice have seemingly exerted more effort in shutting down these leads than pursuing them...

We must be careful about all the stuff we covered up in the 90's.

39 posted on 08/01/2002 4:15:43 PM PDT by alrea
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To: terilyn
After the 1995 blast, Oklahoma City­based television reporter Jayna Davis spoke numerous times with task-force executive director Yossef Bodansky. He eventually gave her a memo in which he'd summarized intelligence reports detailing the operations of the terror camps. In the memo, constructed from his intelligence reports, Bodansky wrote that Iranian intelligence had ordered Hamas to develop cadres from among Palestinian youth living in the U.S.

The article posted contains never before reported information, such as the sample above. I suggest you read both articles if you are interested in the new information.

An Agent tearing up at the disclosure that the FBI's failure contributed to the deaths of over 2,800 citizens has already been reported, but thanks for the reminder. The magnitude of the FBI's failure is overwhelming for some.

40 posted on 08/01/2002 4:56:34 PM PDT by honway
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To: honway
Is it possible a decision has been made by Schippers and those working with him to trickle out the information to avoid information overload on the public?

It's more likely they're spending every spare minute of their lives just trying to get the lamestream media to cover it at all. Patterson and Crogan are obviously not lame and deserve some special pats on the back, don't you think?

james.patterson@indystar.com

I can't find Jim Crogan's email, but I found this:
"Send letters to the editor to: L.A. Weekly, P.O. Box 4315, L.A., CA 90078. Or fax us at (323) 465-3220. Or e-mail us at letters@laweekly.com. Letters, which must be typewritten and include a daytime telephone number for verification, may be edited for purposes of space or clarity."

The next time the Texas Lotto gets way up there, maybe I'll send them both an envelope full of tickets. :-)

41 posted on 08/01/2002 4:56:57 PM PDT by Nita Nupress
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To: PhilDragoo
Thanks! That thing is a bear to take, as I'm sure a lot of people here know.
42 posted on 08/01/2002 5:08:51 PM PDT by Nita Nupress
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To: thinden; Wallaby
Holy Land & InfoCom not only shared a close proximity; they also are related in some family way. Blood relatives, but I can't remember the details right now. If someone has the threads from FR, you can find it there. They're dated for 9/6/01, I think.
43 posted on 08/01/2002 5:12:50 PM PDT by Nita Nupress
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FBI RAIDS DALLAS AREA ARAB INTERNET OFFICE
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/518358/posts
44 posted on 08/01/2002 5:16:46 PM PDT by Nita Nupress
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To: honway; Wallaby; Fred Mertz; BlueDogDemo; thinden; PhilDragoo
Here's an article I posted on an InfoCom thread last year that may help.  It has a lot of details, including the information I was remembering  about blood relatives.   InfoCom's director, Bayan El-Ashi, is a cousin of Marzook's wife, Nadia. (see red text)

 

Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS
April 8, 1996, Monday, HOME FINAL EDITION
Correction Appended
NEWS; Pg. 1A

Paper trail leads to Hamas; 2 organizations based in Richardson deny they promote agenda of anti-Israeli terrorists
Gayle Reaves, Steve McGonigle

Inside a Kansas City auditorium in 1989, a masked man stepped to a lectern and described in Arabic the "oceans of blood" spilled in Hamas' armed attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians.

He thanked two nonprofit organizations for being early allies:

the Islamic Association for Palestine, sponsor of the conference, and the Occupied Land Fund.

Seven years later, Hamas is again threatening Middle East peace with a series of suicide bombings. The Occupied Land Fund has become the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. That group and the IAP, both now based in Richardson, are under attack for allegedly aiding Hamas. Leaders of the local groups denied affiliation with Hamas.

Sharing a stage with Hamas speakers doesn't mean they approve of Hamas terrorism or provide support for it, they say.

"We have never raised money for Hamas or tried to recruit members for Hamas," said Shukri Abu Baker, executive director of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.

Public records, materials from the two groups and interviews over seven months show a pattern of personal, financial and philosophical ties between Hamas and the two nonprofit groups. For example:

* The Islamic Association for Palestine reprinted the Hamas charter, which calls for killing Jews in jihad, or holy war. The association's Arabic-language publications in the early 1990s routinely praised Hamas and its violent opposition to the peace process. The association also published and distributed Hamas communiques on U.S. college campuses.

* Videotapes displaying the logo and phone number of an Islamic Association for Palestine subdivision glorify Hamas attacks on Jewish soldiers and civilians.

* Last month, the Israeli government closed the Jerusalem office of the Holy Land Foundation because of alleged ties to Hamas. Officials also closed the headquarters of an Islamic school partly funded by the Holy Land Foundation and arrested its director for allegedly being a Hamas activist.

* Mousa Abu Marzook, the political leader of Hamas, provided more than 10 percent of all donations to the Holy Land Foundation in 1992, according to Internal Revenue Service records. Mr. Marzook's wife is a cousin of Ghassan El-Ashi, a Holy Land Foundation board member, and Basman El-Ashi, a former president of the Islamic Association for Palestine.

The Israeli government alleges that Mr. Marzook is actually the military leader of Hamas and thus is involved in planning and financing the group's terrorist operations. It has filed bank records and confessions from alleged Hamas activists to support the claim.

* Israeli officials allege that Mr. Marzook and Ismail Elbarasse, a former board member of the Islamic Association for Palestine's parent organization, funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars from U.S. banks to fund Hamas terrorism. Mr. Elbarasse and Mr. Marzook are friends and formerly were business partners.

Hamas - an Arabic acronym for Islamic Resistance Movement - was founded near the start of the intifada , a Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Hamas' goal is the destruction of Israel and establishment of an Islamic state.

The government of Israel and the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith have alleged that the two Richardson-based groups are part of the "command and control structure" of Hamas in the United States.

Charges echoed

Those charges have been echoed by two pro-Israel members of Congress, former FBI counterterrorism chief Oliver "Buck" Revell and in an award-winning and controversial documentary, Jihad in America, produced by journalist Steven Emerson.

U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., asked the IRS last month to revoke the Holy Land Foundation's tax-exempt status because of what she termed its support for Hamas terrorism.

Officials of the Islamic Association for Palestine and Holy Land Foundation say they want peace between Israel and the Palestinian people and that they deplore the killing of innocent people.

They admit sympathy with the Hamas cause of establishing a Palestinian state and share its opposition to the Israeli-PLO peace accord. But they argue that they are being demonized by Zionists to halt aid to and information about Palestinian Muslims.

"We've been targeted because we are very visible," said Mr. Baker, a co-founder of the Holy Land Foundation. "We are the only one focused on the needs of the Palestinian people."

Ghassan El-Ashi, another Holy Land Foundation co-founder and an incorporator of the Islamic Association for Palestine, branded the accusations "guilt by association." He called materials purporting to show links between the two nonprofit groups and Hamas "very old and shoddy."

Mr. El-Ashi said family ties to Mr. Marzook do not mean they share the same politics. Among Palestinians, he said, members of the same family are often split among political factions.

Records, interviews

The Dallas Morning News examined court filings, business records and materials produced by the Islamic Association for Palestine and Holy Land Foundation since 1987, when Hamas was formed.

The newspaper also interviewed law enforcement officers, Middle Eastern scholars and high-ranking officials of the two nonprofit organizations.

The examination revealed two close-knit groups that often work together. The Islamic Association for Palestine, which describes itself as an information center, and the Holy Land Foundation, which raises money for Islamic charitable causes, have become prominent in the American Muslim community.

Islamic Association for Palestine publications state that the group was formed in 1981, six years before Hamas began in Gaza.

Osama Abdul, vice chairman of the association, said the group was started by students at universities around the United States.

The organization also says that it supplies information about the Palestinian cause by publishing newspapers and sponsoring conferences. The group has a home page on the Internet.

Al-Zaitonah ( The Olive ), an Arabic newspaper published by the Islamic Association for Palestine, is considered in Israel to be "the Hamas paper," said Israeli journalist Roni Shaked, author of a 1993 book on Hamas.

An issue dated March 16, 1995, carried an ad for a book entitled Jews Behind Every Crime and repeated a rhyme about carrying the Palestinian fight from the hotels - that is, diplomatic talks - to the trenches. A 1990 issue of another association publication printed song lyrics praising Hamas as "the conscience of the country" and "iron in the face of the Jews." The Islamic Association for Palestine has since ceased to publish the quarterly called Ila Falastin , Arabic for Toward Palestine.

Cartoons depicted a mosque with its minaret replaced by a Kalashnikov assault rifle and a map of the United States drawn as a target pierced with arrows.

A Palestinian-American convicted in Israel of aiding Hamas terrorism told police that both Islamic Association for Palestine papers were "published by Hamas activists." Hamas pamphlets are distributed in the occupied territories by enclosing them with Al-Zaitonah, he said.

Hamas' motto

The charter of Hamas was printed by the Islamic Association for Palestine, complete with the organization's name and local post office box address. The charter includes Hamas' motto, which lists "jihad as its methodology and death for the sake of Allah is its most coveted desire."

"There is no solution to the Palestinian Problem except by Jihad," the charter says. It refers to jihad as carrying weapons and confronting the enemy, providing equipment to the fighter and looking after his family.

Mr. Abdul said he did not know that the association had published the Hamas charter. But any Hamas statements published by the association "were published for information purposes only" because "everybody was asking about this organization," he said.

The Islamic Association for Palestine, he said, does not endorse the killing of innocent civilians.

"We as IAP, we don't feel happy when someone is killed," he said. News of the four suicide bombings that were carried out in Israel between Feb. 25 and March 4, claiming 58 lives, "worried us because we knew 2 million Palestinians will be punished" for them.

But audience members at the December 1989 conference of the Islamic Association for Palestine shouted "Allahu Akbar"  ("God is great") when the masked Hamas spokesman talked about an ocean of blood.

In a videotape of the conference, Yaser Bushnaq, a Dallas resident who was then president of the Islamic Association for Palestine, welcomed participants. A Hamas banner draped a table, from which one speaker after another praised Hamas. The conference was named after Abdullah Azzam, considered a Hamas martyr.

Ahmed Al Qattan, a militant cleric from Kuwait, said Hamas "made the Jews shiver in fear." He led a chant that said, in part, "Long live Hamas. . . . Now the stone will be replaced by the Kalashnikov."

Mr. Abdul insists that the association was not endorsing Hamas terrorism by organizing the 1989 conference. At that time, "every Palestinian was emotionally involved with the intifada . . . . If you talked to people about anything else, they would just leave you," he said.

Attack re-enacted

Mr. Emerson, the documentary producer, supplied another videotape that he described as a Hamas training video. It depicts men with assault rifles re-enacting an attack on a Jewish factory.

In another scene, rifle bullets spell out "Hamas" in Arabic characters. The opening frames carry the logo of Aqsa Vision Audio Visual Production. The association's Richardson telephone number is provided at the end for ordering copies.

Mr. Abdul called Aqsa Vision "the sales department of IAP," selling items with the association's logo or slogans. He said Aqsa Vision "does not produce any tapes."

He called the alleged training video "a professional cut-and-paste job" by Mr. Emerson, whom he and Muslim leaders around the country have denounced as pro-Zionist.

Mr. Emerson's 1994 documentary drew national attention to the Islamic Association for Palestine and the Holy Land Foundation. He alleged that the two organizations were part of a radical Islamic network operating within the United States.

The recent bombings by Hamas in Israel have renewed that attention, as has Israel's effort to extradite Mr. Marzook from the United States to put him on trial for terrorism. He remains in jail in New York while the extradition case is being decided.

Israel says that Mr. Marzook, a former resident of Ruston, La., is actually Hamas' military leader. He has said that he knew nothing of Hamas' military actions and is fighting extradition.

Thick volumes of records filed by Israel in the case contain extensive statements by Muhammad Salah, a Chicago-area used-car dealer who confessed to being a Hamas agent. His statements, made in early 1993, fueled Israeli charges of Hamas activism in the United States.

Mr. Salah told Israeli investigators that Mr. Marzook sent him and another Hamas leader in London to reorganize Hamas operations and distribute funds to Hamas activists in the Occupied Territories.

Confession recanted

Last year, Mr. Salah was convicted of aiding Hamas terrorism and sentenced to five years in prison. He later recanted his confession, insisting the statements were coerced through abuse and torture.

Statements by Mr. Salah and other alleged Hamas activists describe attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians. They also trace more than $ 200,000 provided for guns and terrorist action to a U.S. bank account.

The account, at a bank in McLean, Va., was held jointly by Mr. Marzook and Mr. Elbarasse, a former board member of the American Middle Eastern League for Palestine, an Islamic Association for Palestine parent organization.

Stanley Cohen, a New York attorney for Mr. Marzook, said it was Mr. Elbarasse who transferred $ 735,000 to Mr. Salah's Chicago bank account.

Mr. Salah then had $ 200,000 transferred to him in Israel, bank records show. When Mr. Salah was arrested, $ 97,000 in cash was also confiscated.

Mr. Cohen said the money did not belong to his client. Mr. Marzook did not know it had been sent to Mr. Salah, the attorney said, nor did Mr. Marzook direct how Mr. Salah should spend the funds.

A man at Mr. Elbarasse's home in Falls Church, Va., hung up the phone when a reporter asked to speak to Mr. Elbarasse.

Several current and former association officials are helping Mr. Marzook with his legal troubles. Mr. Bushnaq, the former association president, is one of two signatories on the Marzook legal defense fund, Mr. Cohen said.

Rafiq Jaber and Sabri Ibrahim, current president and vice president, respectively, of the Islamic Association for Palestine, say they also are assisting with Mr. Marzook's defense by circulating petitions and encouraging contributions. Both live in the Chicago area, where the association is planning to move its headquarters.

Mr. Marzook is also a key link between Hamas and the Holy Land Foundation, one of the largest U.S. fund-raisers for Islamic charitable causes.

Founded as the Occupied Land Fund in California in 1987, the organization renamed itself and moved to Richardson in 1992. Last year the group raised $ 2.25 million in donations and another $ 1 million in in-kind contributions, officials said.

Tax returns

According to Holy Land Foundation tax returns, Mr. Marzook contributed $ 210,000 in 1992. His personal secretary, Nasser Alkhatib, contributed another $ 22,450. Total contributions for the year were $ 2 million.

Mr. Baker, the foundation's executive director, remembered Mr. Marzook making the contribution after an Islamic conference in Kansas City.

He cited the donation as proof that there is no secret relationship between Mr. Marzook and the foundation. Mr. Marzook knew his contribution would be reported, Mr. Baker said.

At the time, Mr. Baker said, Mr. Marzook had not stated publicly that he was a leader of Hamas.

"We'll take any money if it's legal," the Holy Land Foundation director said.

Mr. Marzook, through his attorney, denied making the contribution. Mr. Cohen said the donation came from Mr. Elbarasse.

"I'm saying that transaction was from the joint account and had nothing to do with Mr. Marzook," he said. "I'm sorry. Mousa Marzook did not donate $ 210,000 to them."

Mr. Cohen acknowledged that Mr. Marzook's wife, Nadia, invested $ 250,000 in 1993 in InfoCom Corp., a Richardson computer company run by her cousin, Bayan El-Ashi. Mr. El-Ashi is the brother of Ghassan El-Ashi, the foundation's treasurer and InfoCom's international marketing director.

Ghassan El-Ashi declined to discuss whether Mrs. Marzook was an investor in InfoCom, and he referred questions to Mr. Cohen.

There is an even stronger link between Hamas and the Holy Land Foundation than Mr. Marzook - one which Mr. Baker and Ghassan El-Ashi readily admit and defend.

The Holy Land Foundation provides grants to schools, clinics, mosques and other social service organizations in the Middle East and elsewhere to meet Muslim humanitarian needs.

Publications say the Holy Land Foundation raises money for widows, orphans, the homeless and "families of martyrs." The group boasts it was the first to aid 413 suspected Hamas activists whom Israel deported to Lebanon in 1992.

In Gaza and the West Bank, Middle East experts say, Hamas is widely regarded as one of the largest and most efficient providers of social services. The Holy Land Foundation helps support some of those Hamas institutions.

Hamas bastion

The Islamic University of Gaza is listed by the foundation as one recipient. It is known as a Hamas bastion; Mr. Marzook was one of its founders.

Mr. Baker said the Holy Land Foundation does not care about the political leanings of the people whose programs it funds. "Our humanitarian work is not colored by political reality in that area," he said.

Mr. Abdul of the Islamic Association for Palestine denied that Hamas operates social service agencies - that is a Zionist mischaracterization, he said.

Dr. Philip Mattar, executive director of the Institute for Palestine Studies in Washington, said Hamas' social service system is undeniable.

"Hamas does run social and health services in the West Bank.

There's no doubt about it," he said. "Most of their money goes to running those services. But they benefit enormously in that it generates an enormous amount of good will, especially in underdeveloped areas."

In many such organizations in the Middle East, accusations of corruption are common. "You won't find too much corruption among Hamas organizations," Dr. Mattar said. "They are quite puritanical."

Another recipient of Holy Land Foundation funds was an Islamic school operated by Jamil Hamami. Mr. Hamami, who has been called a Hamas leader by Israel, has been detained several times. His Faith School is one of the most respected in the West Bank, Mr. Baker said.

Since the bombings began in March, Israeli authorities have shut down many Muslim charities because of suspected Hamas ties. Among those closed was the Holy Land Foundation's Jerusalem office.

"Yes, that was because they are claiming we have Hamas ties," Mr. Baker said. He called Israel's action "a political move" that the foundation is challenging in Israeli court.

Ms. Lowey, the congresswoman who is seeking to revoke the foundation's tax-exempt status, contended that the Holy Land Foundation's aid to Hamas-run charities and deportees is proof of the foundation's support for terrorism.

"If you're raising money for Hamas activists, you're raising money for Hamas," she said in a statement.

Money not traced

Vince Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism chief, said U.S. officials have not been able to trace money raised by Muslim charities in the United States to Middle East terrorism. But he said contributions to the Hamas social service network can benefit its military operations.

"You can give money to a specific hospital in Gaza, for example, and that money will go there," he said. "And if that money is controlled by Hamas, that frees up money that can go for bad things."

Mr. Baker said the Holy Land Foundation is considering a fund-raising campaign to rebuild houses for families of suicide bombers. The Israeli government has demolished more than 100 such homes, he said.

The demolitions are against international law because they are "collective punishment" aimed at a large group of people rather than at specific individuals convicted of crimes, he said.

"My obligation as a humanitarian is to go there and rebuild those houses," he said. "I don't want the rest of the children to go and blow themselves up because they see the world is full of injustice."

Mr. Baker, who has spent half his life in the West and whose mother is Christian, said he believes Israel has a right to exist.

He said Israel's Zionist government should put aside its bigotry and permit Palestinians to have a country, too.

"A lot of good Jews are doing wonderful things in this country and everywhere. They do not deserve my anger or hate," he said. "A lot of bad Muslims are doing bad things. They deserve my frustration.

"But if you want to . . . base all your positions and attitudes in this life on religion or ethnicity or political backgrounds, you're doomed to be a failure."

CORRECTION: April 17, 1996, Wednesday, HOME FINAL EDITION

In a story that begain on Page 1A on April 8, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development was incorrectly referred to as one of the organizations discussed in the Jihad in America documentary. The Richardson-based charitable group was not mentioned in that documentary. The same article misstated the religion of HLF Executive Director Shukri Abu Baker's mother. She is Muslim. The story identified Osama Abdul as vice chairman of the Islamic Association ofr Palestine. Mr. Abdul said he is a Dallas representative but not an officer of the group.


55 posted on 9/10/01 8:30 AM Central by Nita Nupress

 

45 posted on 08/01/2002 5:38:45 PM PDT by Nita Nupress
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A list of relevant keywords in Crogan's article, for anyone who wants them:

Mohammed Abdul Hamid Khalil Salah
Quranic Literacy Institute
Mathew Piers
Mohammed Jarad
Naser Hidmi - former student at Kansas State University
Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook - Hamas leader
Yassin Kadi - Saudi businessman
46 posted on 08/01/2002 5:56:34 PM PDT by Nita Nupress
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To: Nita Nupress
BTTT
47 posted on 08/01/2002 7:27:45 PM PDT by Gritty
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To: PhilDragoo
Thanks! That thing is a bear to take, as I'm sure a lot of people here know.

Maybe I should clarify that and not assume people already know... The MMPI is given in many different job occupations as part of the application process. :-)

48 posted on 08/01/2002 7:44:01 PM PDT by Nita Nupress
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To: Wallaby
Thanks for the heads up!
49 posted on 08/01/2002 8:21:02 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: honway; Shermy
This reminds me of the Egyptian who fled the U.S.A. yesterday, just hours before he was to be arrested in a raid. Who tipped him off? Have terrorists (or foreign agents working on their behalf) infiltrated the FBI? That would explain a lot.
50 posted on 08/01/2002 10:12:08 PM PDT by Mitchell
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