“The phone program follows the Muslim Brotherhood pattern of using deceptively described charities as a means to support terrorist causes.”
– Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch
The news of shots being fired at a Muslim family’s home in Orlando, FL in the wake of the Paris, France terror attacks has made national news with base reporting from local outlets such as www.wftv.com:
Similar reports were made by www.mynews13.com and the Orlando Sentinal. Accounts indicate that CAIR is investigating the shooting as a hate crime and calling on the Department of Justice to conduct its own investigation
What is not mentioned in any of the news reports is Amir Elmasri’s past ties to an apparent U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Phone Scam that funneled money to the Benevolence and Global Relief Foundation located in Bridgeview, Ill.
Both groups have been designated by the U.S Government as terrorist organizations in connection with the funding of Al-Qaida.
A 2001 AP article published in the Florida Times-Union, reported:
Muslim charities suspected of helping finance international terrorism received at least $1.9 million in the past five years from Florida donors, records show.
The article further indicates:
One of the biggest single contributors was International Charity Network, a Winter Park company that gave $300,000 to Benevolence in 1996 and 1997 alone. Two other related local firms have given Benevolence a total of $171,210 since 1996.
A 2001 The Orlando Sentinel article also reported on theses links to terrorist groups and indicated that funding was achieved through changing subscribed Muslims’ long distance phone service over to MCI.
According to corporate filings, International Charity Network is now called Net One International, Inc. and Amir Elmasri has been listed as the vice-President of the company since 1998.
A 2007 analysis of the reported phone scam and how it links to U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leadership can be found at the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch, which notes:
The phone program follows the Muslim Brotherhood pattern of using deceptively described charities as a means to support terrorist causes.
RELATED: In 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed a penalty of $1,600,000 against Net One International, Inc. (Net One or Company), for apparently billing consumers for unauthorized charges and fees purportedly in connection with long distance telephone service—a practice commonly known as “cramming.” Amir Elmasri is listed as the vice-president of Net One International in the FCC filing.
COMMENT: A search of the CAIR national site failed to disclose any mention of this incident. A check of the CAIR-FL website showed simply a repost of news report that a family “claims it was targetted by gunfire” and “The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Florida said that it is investigating the case with their attorneys to determine whether the family was targeted.” Any mention of a request for Department of Justice action could not be found.
The Muslim community has to realize that a lot of the responsibility lies with them to cooperate with law enforcement
– Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.)
King: Muslim Groups Complain About Harassment, Surveillance When Asked to Help Fight ISIS
By Bridget Johnson, May 11, 2015
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) charged that all U.S. Muslim groups are doing is “complain about the fact that they’re being harassed and they’re being surveilled” as they need to step forward and help stop jihadi recruitment on U.S. soil.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a brief statement Friday that the group “engaged with DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson during two separate meetings focused on the Obama administration’s new countering violent extremism (CVE) program in New York.”
“CAIR officials met previously with the secretary on the same issue in both Minneapolis and Los Angeles.”
King said a source in the meeting told him Johnson was “asking for them to step forward and be more cooperative” as they complained about harassment.
“Well, if we keep that attitude up, we’re going to get nowhere. The Muslim community has to realize that a lot of the responsibility lies with them to cooperate with law enforcement,” King said this morning on MSNBC.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: We highlighted the new CVE program when it was rolled out with a DOJ announcement in September 2014. In February 2015, CAIR stated that the “CVE is not an effective use of public resources ” so the observed lack of cooperation should not be surprising.
The push by Islamic groups in the the U.S. has been towards the MPACs Safe Spaces program announced last year. Safe Spaces places an emphasis on two key points:
- the mosque/Muslim community makes the determination of threat levels and when law enforcement is allowed to be involved.
- the sanctity of the mosque is a priority
In other words, the interests of the mosque and its community apparently take precendence. This view was expressed by Salam Al-Marayati, president of MPAC who wrote in 2014:
Safe spaces are needed so that government informants and extremist recruiters are prevented from violating the sanctity of the mosque. In essence, we want to enhance both a spiritual safety and public safety.
As we indicated in “Islamist damage control – Safe Spaces revisited“, the Safe Spaces Initiative can be tied into several front groups for the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) such as CAIR and the Muslim American Society (MAS). The author of the “Safe Spaces Tool Kit” is Alejandro J. Beutel – the lead face in MPAC’s organized effort to move U.S. law enforcement towards a community oriented policing model that effectively allows the Muslim community to exercise considerable control and influence. He was a junior fellow with the Minaret of Freedom Institute. According to the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch, “The Minaret of Freedom Institute [is] a lesser known group tied to the U.S Brotherhood and whose leadership includes Omar Altalib, likely a relative of Hisham Altalib, one of the original leaders of IIIT and the SAAR Foundation“.
MPAC reported that during a June 2014 meeting of American Muslim and Syrian leaders in Chicago, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson applauded the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) for launching its community-based Safe Spaces Initiative.
RELATED: In 2011 CAIR-California promoted a conference titled, ““FBI Raids and Grand Jury Subpoenas: Know Your Rights and Defend Our Communities.” According to a Fox news report:
… the website of CAIR’s California chapter, features a sinister-looking FBI agent with the headlines “Build a Wall of Resistance” and “Don’t Talk to the FBI.” The poster was designed in the late 1970s or early 1980s and has been reproduced by various groups and activists since then in response to alleged harassment by the FBI and to protest grand jury subpoenas.
In Islamist Propaganda – at taxpayers expense (March 2014) we noted how law enforcement and security organizations were replacing Islamic anti-terror training with politically correct cultural awareness programs. The impetus comes from Muslim Brotherhood (MB) front groups such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).
At the end of that article were these comments:
Another player in the Muslim cultural awareness arena is the World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE). This group apparently has no ties to Muslim Brotherhood affiliated groups. There is some confusion in that WORDE is promoting what they call The Montgomery County Model – a partnership with the Montgomery County Maryland Police Department in developing a new, community based-model to increase public safety. If you viewed the Connecting Cultures DOJ/COPS funded film, you’ll note that the Montgomery County Police Department was the featured agency. I read one source that indicated the film was produced several years back. If so, one can only hope that the Montgomery County PD learned from their mistakes. Can’t say the same for Homeland Security and DOJ.
A recent report from Point de Bascule Canada led to information that changes our assessment of WORDE, specifically the lack of ties to MB groups. While reviewing some linked Point de Bascule background items we came across another report from October 2014, where Point de Bascule wrote:
On October 8th, 2014, the International Cultural Center invited American and Canadian experts in Montgomery Village (Maryland) to talk about the terrorist threat posed by the Islamic State (ISIS) to the United States. The theme of the evening was Understanding the ISIS Threat to the Homeland.
An article published by Point de Bascule four days before the meeting highlighted that two of the guest speakers, Rabia Chaudry and Hussein Hamdani, were linked to the Hamas’s North American support network and, therefore, could not be counted as allies against the terrorist threat.
The International Cultural Center is a WORDE program established in 2011 and located in Gaithersburg, MD. Rabia Chaudry is a former CAIR spokesperson and is frequently involved with MPAC programs and events. Point de Bascule’s recent report concerns Hussein Hamdani, an advisor to a Canadian agency security agency, who has been suspended pending an investigation into his ties to Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas related organizations.
The Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC) has a history of being associated with Islamic radicals promoting terror …
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) advises that on May 2, 2015, the Islamic Center of Passaic County (Paterson, New Jersey) will host “Understanding Shari’ah: Sacred Principles for Human Development” in collaboration with the Fiqh Council of North America.
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch notes the following about the council:
The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) is an organization comprised of Islamic scholars associated with the Global Muslim Brotherhood. As FCNA itself acknowledges, the organization grew out of the activities of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and later became affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), itself an outgrowth of MSA. FCNA maintains a relationship with other similar bodies in the Global Muslim Brotherhood including the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) as well as the Islamic Fiqh Academy in Saudi Arabia.Two individuals known to have been ECFR members, Jamal Badawi and Solah Soltan, are also known to have been associated with the FCNA.
Most of scheduled speakers for the May 2nd event have firmly established associations with U.S. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) organizations:
- Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi (ISNA, NAIT)
- Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah (ICNA)
- Dr. Ihsan Bagby (ISNA)
- Br. Azhar Azeez (President of ISNA and former CAIR executive)
- Sh. Mohammad Qatanani (HAMAS)
- Dr. Zainab Alwani (IIIT and daughter of MB leader Taha Al-Alwani)
- Sh. Yasir Fahmy
- Prof. Ebrahim Moosa
ISNA – Islamic Society of North America
ICNA – Islamic Circle of North America
NAIT – North American Islamic Trust
IIIT – International Institute of Islamic Thought
CAIR – Council on American Islamic Relations
The Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC) has a history of being associated with Islamic radicals promoting terror. A 2013 Clarion Project reports:
The Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC) was founded by Mohammad El-Mezain, who was convicted in 2008 for fundraising for Hamas through the Holy Land Foundation. It is led today by Imam Mohammad Qatanani, whose deportation is sought by the Department of Homeland Security.
Muhammad al-Hanooti was an imam at ICPC from 1990 to 1995. He was president of the Islamic Association for Palestine, a pro-Hamas organization and Muslim Brotherhood front organization, from 1984 to 1986.
… [FULL ARTICLE]
In January 2014, the ICPC hosted Syrian Sheik Mohammad Rateb al-Nabulsi as part of an 11-city tour across America and co-sponsored by the Syrian American Council (SAC). The Sheik al-Nabulsi supports suicide bombings and has labeled all Jews as combatants.
In 2014 we reported on the lobbying efforts of SAC on Capitol Hill and its ties to the MB.
COMMENT: We wonder if the SAC had enough clout with the State Department to waive visa restrictions that deny individuals promoting hate and violence from entering the U.S..
“Where was security? … We’re curious, because this two-day Islamist lobbying and political muscle flexing — dubbed “National Muslim Advocacy Day and Palestine Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill” — was organized by a radical Muslim Brotherhood umbrella group led by actual terrorism suspects.”
– Investors Business Daily
April 13th 2015 came and went. For most Americans it was simply 2 days before taxes were due.
At the U.S. Congressional Rayburn House Office Building in Washington DC it marked the 1st Annual National Muslim Advocacy Day.
Sponsored by the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), the event reportedly featured over 280 delegates gathered from more than 20 states to meet with elected officials and congressional staffers. According to USCMO, it was “designed to connect national, regional and state Muslim organizations [and] community members with more than one third of the U.S. House of Representatives and a half of the Senate.’
Mainstream news outlets? …. well, they didn’t even report on it … at least we were unable to find any mention. What coverage that we did find, was primarily limited to online blogs and publications.
One unexpected report came from a leading financial source, Investors Business Daily in their editorial section:
Democrats Embrace Terror Suspects On Hill During ‘Muslim Advocacy Day’
04/20/2015 07:01 PM ET
Infiltration: Two-hundred eighty Muslim “leaders” stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, taking grip-and-grin photos with Democrats and even visiting the office of their national committee chief. Where was security?
We’re curious, because this two-day Islamist lobbying and political muscle flexing — dubbed “National Muslim Advocacy Day and Palestine Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill” — was organized by a radical Muslim Brotherhood umbrella group led by actual terrorism suspects.
At least one of them already has been behind bars, another has been the subject of both FBI and National Security Agency investigations and the rest “should be in jail, not on Capitol Hill” freely roaming the halls of American power, asserted a veteran FBI agent.
“These are leaders of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood in America,” said John Guandolo. Yet “they are moving around the nation’s Capitol freely without any fear of the FBI or anyone else arresting them.”
And that’s precisely what they lobbied against — investigation and prosecution. Hundreds of these radical Muslim “activists” fanned out across the Hill to knock on doors of members of Congress to express their opposition to anti-terrorism investigations in the Muslim community and American mosques.
… [MORE] …
USCMO’s formation as another front of the Muslim Brotherhood is fairly clear. In it’s report on National Muslim Advocacy Day, the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch (GMBDW) noted:
In December 2014, the GMBDW was the first to report that the USCMO had announced plans to hold what was described as the first-of-its-kind National Muslim Advocacy Day. The GMBDW reported in March 2014 on the formation of the USCMO, comprised of eight US Muslim organizations most of which are part of the US Muslim Brotherhood:
- American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)
- Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
- Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
- Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA)
- Muslim American Society (MAS)
- Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA)
- Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA)
- The Mosque Cares (Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed)
The National Muslim Advocacy Day event was probably best summed up by the headline from www.westernjournalism.com with, “A Major Muslim Group Just Made A Bold Move To Gain More Power In The US Government“.
Sidenote: The described activities were combined with “Palestine Advocacy Day” but this was not mentioned or promoted in USCMO coordinated press items.
In October 2014, we reported on the efforts of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to have the US Department of Justice (DOJ) investigate an Arkansas gun range whose owner declared the business to be a ‘Muslim-Free Zone’.
This past week, CAIR published a news release that the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ has decided to “monitor” the gun range. According to the release:
CAIR has now received a letter from the DOJ informing the Washington-based civil rights organization of the decision to monitor the Arkansas case.
The business: Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range located in Hot Springs, AR about an hour south of Little Rock.
Hoda said that her parents weren’t entirely in the dark about what their daughter’s newfound religious interest might lead to. “They didn’t know I was leaving, but they had an idea,” Hoda said. “They’d see news reports about girls who have made it [to Syria] and say things like, ‘Hoda would probably do that.’’’
– BuzzFeed Interiview
A 20-year-old Alabama woman joined ISIS after receiving an innocent graduation gift
By: Reuters and Pamela Engel, April 21, 2015
A 20-year-old woman from a Birmingham, Alabama, suburb has left the US to join the Islamic State militant group in Syria, the local broadcaster WIAT reported on Monday.
Hoda Muthana made contact with militants through social media and had been distancing herself from other Muslims in Hoover for more a year before leaving, said family spokesman Hassan Shibly, according to WIAT. Her family reportedly fled Yemen for the US more than 20 years ago.
Hoda’s father, Mohammed, told BuzzFeed that his daughter’s introduction to social media started with the smartphone he gave her as a high-school graduation gift in 2013.
She wasn’t technically allowed to have social-media accounts or post photos of herself (though her brothers were), but she apparently found a way around that.
Mohammed said he sometimes took her phone to check what was on it. He told BuzzFeed: “When I get the phone from her, sometimes she scared, and I thought, ‘What do you have?'”
During the year and a half before she left for Syria, Hoda became more devoutly religious. She told BuzzFeed that it was due in part to Islamic lectures she found on the internet.
Hoda said her parents noticed her becoming more religious and “liked the change until they saw me getting ‘jihadi.'”
In 2013, Hoda secretly set up a Twitter account that allowed her to find and connect with Islamic State members and supporters, including Aqsa Mahmood, who left her home in Scotland to join the group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: The cited Buzzfeed article provides additional details relating to this story and leaves the impression that Hoda’s radicalization was not exactly a surprise to those around her and probably not the result of getting a cell phone.
The Birmingham, AL Muslim community is centered around the Birmingham Islamic Society (BIS) and we mentioned the area when Randy Wilson was arrested on terrorism related charges in 2012. In a Washington post article, BIS president Ashfaq Taufique stated that Wilson had attended a Muslim school in Birmingham when he was younger.
The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is well represented in Alabama, especially in the locations around Birmingham and Huntsville. These type of Islamic radical recruiting incidents bring unwanted attention to the area and it would be safe to assume that damage/media control is considered a high priority. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that the identified family spokesman Hassan Shibly, is the Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Florida – someone frequently called upon to handle high profile PR matters for CAIR.
In regards to CAIR, The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch notes …
In 2008, the then Deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood acknowledged a relationship between the Egyptian Brotherhood and CAIR. In 2009, a US federal judge ruled “The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.”
CAIR Asks DOJ to Probe Arkansas Business Declared ‘Muslim-Free Zone’ by Owner
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/7/14) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today said it has asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate a Hot Springs, Ark., shooting range that has been declared a “Muslim-free zone” by its owner.
The owner claims the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agrees with her claimed right to bar customers based on their faith.
The full text of the CAIR letter can be found HERE
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: When the original story of the range being “Muslim Free” by owner Jan Morgan came out, it was just a matter of time before CAIR would get involved. CAIR’s letter requests a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation noting that the range owner is discriminating based on race and religion. We are not sure what race a Muslim is, but CAIR has been increasing efforts to embrace a “race card” as of late. The religious discrimination argument tends to be in CAIR’s favor.
Ms. Morgan comments on CAIR’s request to the DOJ are addressed in this post, Islamic Organization With Ties to HAMAS Asks Holder to Investigate Me. She brings up some interesting points, but we suspect Ms. Morgan may be out gunned (pardon the pun) in regards to this issue.
Her blog entry of Sep 28 , 2014 is now titled, “Why I Want My Range to be a Muslim Free Zone” , but when it was originally posted it read as, “My Business is a Muslim Free Zone“. The later is what was picked up by the media and brought to the attention of CAIR. It may be too late to try and defend the post as simply expressing her opinion … in other words an issue of constitutionally protected free speech.
The Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range is located in in Hot Springs, AR about an hour south of Little Rock.
“Public officials, and that includes public school officials, violate the free speech clause of the First Amendment whenever they censor speech merely because it offends someone… Unfortunately, we are seeing this trend grow as Muslim activists play the victim card.”
– William J. Becker, Jr., Freedom X’s president and general counsel (8/12/2014 Examiner.com)
At issue was an April 24, 2014 after-hours town hall meeting at a local area high school planned by the Knoxville chapter of ACT! for America . The event was to feature Dr. Bill French (aka Dr. Bill Warner), an expert on Islam, and Matt Bonner of Crescent Project, a Christian ministry reaching out to Muslims with the Gospel.
In late 2013, the Knoxville chapter of ACT! for America had requested and received approval to use Farragut High School for the planned event. In March 2014 a press release was sent to the local newspaper promoting the event.
Around April 8, 2014, the County School offices received an email from AbdelRahman Murphy, the University of Tennessee (UTK) Muslim Chaplain and director of “Roots” a Muslim outreach program. Murphy’s email characterized ACT! Knoxville as an organization with a history of engaging in hate speech
Around that same time as Murphy’s email, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper sent a letter to Farragut High School Principal Michael Reynolds expressing concerns about the event calling ACT! for America a hate group and characterizing French as a bigot. The letter closed with:
We support the First Amendment right to free speech — even the kind of hate speech used by these speakers — but believe, because of the need for a safe and inclusive learning environment, that a school is not the proper setting such an event.
I therefore respectfully request that you review district policies to determine whether you high school is an appropriate venue for a potentially hate-filled program.
On April 11, 2014, the School system sent a letter to the Knoxville chapter of ACT! for America, rescinding the agreement for the April 24th event:
The administration at Farragut High School has express ed concerns to me about the disruption your event scheduled for April 24th is causing to the educational environment at the school.
The primary purpose of our school facilities is to provide a safe, healthy and comfortable learning environment for our students. When other uses of the facility begin to impinge on or interfere with the administrations ability to provide a suitable educational atmosphere, it is necessary for us to reconsider that use.
A local news station reported on the cancellation indicating the decision to rescind approval was because “some” said the event discriminated against Muslims.
On August 4, 2014 , a lawsuit was filed by the nonprofit law firm Freedom X on behalf of John Peach, president of the Knoxville chapter of ACT! for America, and Bill French against the school system in U.S. District Court, for violating their First Amendment right of free speech and their Fourteenth Amendment rights of equal protection and due process.
On October 1st, an out of court settlement was reached. According to wbir.com:
The sides officially reached an agreement Wednesday night. Under the terms, the county will pay out roughly $17,500 in attorney fees, administrative costs and monetary damages tied to advertising for the event.
In addition, the school board on Wednesday – under the terms of the settlement – amended its policy regarding the community’s use of school facilities.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: CAIR frequently attempts to silence critics of Islam through intimidation or legal proceedings. In this case they managed to coerce the school system to do their bidding. CAIR’s input to the school system was most likely arranged by AbdelRahman Murphy, who served as an intern with the Communications Department at CAIR-Chicago in 2006. Murphy worked under the guidance of then communications director, Ahmed Rehab – the current executive director for CAIR-Chicago.
In addition to his work with “Roots” and as the Muslim chaplain at UTK, Murphy is the primary advisor to UTK’s Muslim Student Association and youth director of the Muslim Community of Knoxville (MCK). He makes appearances on the Muslim “talk circuit” and maintains a close relationship with Imam Suhaib Webb, of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC).
Group claims pro-Palestinian students in US tied to terror
Clip produced by advocacy group Hamas On Campus purports to show growing Islamist influence in universities
From: The Times of Israel, October 5, 2014
A new YouTube video is targeting two of the most vocal pro-Palestinian student bodies active on US campuses, attempting to expose the alleged ties between the groups and the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as to out several of the organizations’ leading members as supporters and initiators of terrorist activities across the globe.
In the video, which was produced by the advocacy group Hamas On Campus, the narrator claims the Muslim Brotherhood has been bankrolling student bodies and effectively using them as proxies in order to spread a message of radical Islam throughout American universities. The video then highlights the Gaza-based terror organization Hamas’s connection to the Brotherhood.
The narrator goes on to assert that the Muslim Students Association and the Students for Justice in Palestine organization have served as hotbeds for potential terrorists, citing several former members of the student bodies who had gone on to join and establish terror groups in the Middle East.
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: We recently posted a story about a Students for Justice in Palestine event, “The Hidden Genocide: The Story of Palestine. A Banquet.” scheduled for September 2014 at the University of South Florida (USF). It was to feature motivational speaker Monzer Taleb, a former Hamas fundraiser who had sung with a band** called Al Sakhra (“The Rock”).
It appears the The Story of Palestine USF event was cancelled but promotional material indicated the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), The Muslim Connection (TMC), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of South Florida and the Muslim Student Association (MSA) were the sponsors. The participation of these groups seems to validate the Hamas on Campus contention that the Muslim Brotherhood is,” bankrolling student bodies and effectively using them as proxies“.
The Muslim Connection (TMC) is a local Islamist group based in Tampa Florida. According to it’s corporate filing, TMC focuses on “bring youth closer to Allah”. It is affiliated with the Islamic Community of Tampa-Masjid Al-Qassam (ICT). The Investigative Project on Terrorism reports:
Al-Qassam mosque was incorporated by Sami Al-Arian in 1992 under the name “The Islamic Community of Tampa, Inc.” Al-Arian pleaded guilty in 2006 to conspiring to make or receive contributions of funds, goods or services for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Federal investigators say that, at the time, Al-Arian was the North American leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
An initial member of the Board of Trustees of Al-Qassam Mosque, Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, has been the Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Syria since 1995. In addition, Al-Arian’s brother-in-law Mazen Al-Najjar was a founding board member and served as mosque imam until 2001. Al-Najjar appears on the Islamic Community of Tampa’s annual reports up until 2001, when he was arrested by the INS for a visa violation. Al-Najjar was deported by the U.S. in 2002 for staying in the U.S. after his student visa lapsed. In addition, he served on the PIJ’s Shura Council, or governing board, and was indicted along with Al-Arian for providing material support to the PIJ. Since he was deported, Al-Najjar never stood trial on those charges.
Sami Al-Arian was a former tenured USF computer science professor.
One of the current directors of the Islamic Community of Tampa is Osama Kayali. Kayali is listed a business associate with several businesses of the Elkadi family. Former Muslim Brotherhood leader, Ahmed Elkadi was based in Panama City, FL during the 1980s – 90s. He later moved to Northern Virginia then to Tampa, where he died in 2009.
**The Investigative Project on Terrorism has a copy of one of the band’s performances (with a transcript) calling for death to Jews. Taleb is featured singing “I am Hamas” on a second video, around the 3:47 mark. In a 2006 Weekly Standard article, “HAMAS Rock Stars,” Dallas-based investigative reporter Todd Bensman described the band as follows:
It wasn’t exactly feel-good music in the conventional sense. Mufid’s Al Sakhra (“The Rock”) band crooned a gospel of death and hatred toward the Jews at Hamas fundraisers, while the collection plates moved through wildly enthusiastic Arab-American audiences.