April 20, 2006, - 9:05 am
By Debbie Schlussel
As someone who wrote countless articles about Islamic Jihad terrorist group founder and leader Sami Al-Arian (since well before 9/11), I’m glad to see that he agreed to be deported.
But that news, which came over the weekend, is also disturbing for a number of reasons:
1) The Justice Dept. failed to successfully prosecute him and realized it would probably fail again, thus the agreement. It was a huge blow and yet another in the string of Justice Department failures in its impotent War on Terror. (Maybe it, too, needs to join the GM healthcare plan.) That’s why it wasn’t a big feat when I correctly predicted Al-Arian would walk, though I was alone in the prediction.
2) The deal, even though Al-Arian admitted he was a terrorist, made it easy for various extremist–though treated as mainstream–Islamic groups to claim that it was a victory for Al-Arian. After all, he was never convicted of any terrorism charges. Thanks again, USDOJ (U.S. Dept. of Justice). HAMAS front-group CAIR and various others are claiming this is a victory for Palestinian “free speech” in America. Free speech? The guy was funding homicide bombings, the victims of which included Americans. We heard that kind of “free speech” on 9/11, too.
3) The deal shows the failure of treating terrorists as criminals to be dealt with in a justice system. They are a national security matter and should be dealt with that way exclusively.
4) The first trial, while including every bit of information but the kitchen sink, did NOT include important information on Al-Arian’s various business “enterprises” including the used car business and selling baby formula, common ways Islamic terrorists get quick, untraceable cash.
5) The Al-Arian verdict was portrayed by ACLU types and libertarians as a failure for the Patriot Act, including by those at REASON who incorrectly attacked me. But, FYI, all of the evidence on Al-Arian far preceded the Patriot Act in any way. Had nothing to do with it. Clue: Al-Arian evidence: 1995 and before; Patriot Act: 2001 and beyond.
Others claimed that Al-Arian worked for Islamic Jihad before the 1996 Clinton counter-terrorism package creating the State Dept. terrorist list. Also, not true. In fact, it was always illegal to do business with or for Islamic Jihad, because it did not even pretend to be a humanitarian charity (as HAMAS & Hezbollah did).
6) MOST IMPORTANT: Just because Al-Arian agrees to be deported, doesn’t mean he will go anywhere. Then what? His co-conspirator in terrorist fundraising, Imam Fawaz Abu Damrah (former head of the Cleveland Mosque), remains in detention, awaiting deportation. But he’s been there for months, and news reports say he has yet to find a country that will take him.
That’s the tragedy of our alien removal process. It’s hardly a process. We have to rely on the mercy of other countries to extend travel documents to individuals we want to get rid of. A lot more difficult than it seems. Some countries, frankly, just want to keep these people here to do their illicit bidding, and won’t extend the travel credentials.
Al-Arian is not Palestinian by “native” birth. He was born in Kuwait and raised in Egypt. Good luck in finding a place that will take him. With the ACLU on the back of a wimpy U.S. government, don’t be surprised if Al-Arian gets released from detention facilities eventually and never goes anywhere. The real tragedy is that he will never face real justice because our government waited too long and then was far too inept to seal the deal.
Tags: Al-Arian Literally Gets Away, America, CAIR, car, Cleveland Mosque, Clinton, co-conspirator, Debbie Schlussel As, Department of Justice, Egypt, Hamas, head, healthcare plan, Hizballah, Imam Fawaz Abu Damrah, Islamic Jihad, Kuwait, Sami Al-Arian, Sami Al-Arian Literally, terrorist, terrorist group founder and leader, travel credentials, travel documents, U.S. government, United States