September 18, 2006, - 1:02 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
I’ve been writing about LIFE for Relief and Development for years, and I think my columns (especially this one, a shorter version of which appeared in the New York Post), have finally made a difference. Ditto for my complaints about LIFE to Assistant U.S. Attorney for counterterrorism, Ken Chadwell.
This morning, the FBI began raiding LIFE and hauling out documents. Well, it’s about time. LIFE–the largest Islamic charity still open for business in America–openly admitted on its 1995-’97 taxes to be a major funder of HAMAS. Headquartered in the Orthodox Jewish suburban Detroit subdivision in which I grew up, it gave millions to Human Appeal International, which the FBI identified as HAMAS’ Jordanian operation. It has done many vague “Katrina,” “Lebanon Relief,” and “Afghanistan Wheelchair” fundraisers and believed to have laundered the money to terrorists. Its founding resident agent is tied to Al-Qaeda, and one of its former employees, Abdel-Jabbar Hamdan, is also tied to terrorists. The government has been trying to deport him.
Then, there are its multiple fundraisers over the last couple of years “for more Fallujahs” according to sources at a secret 2004 Los Angeles area fundraiser held by LIFE. LIFE is believed to be a major funder of the insurgent terrorists in Iraq. That’s why, in 2004, the U.S. Army raided its Iraqi headquarters, frequently operated by its spokesman and operative Mohammed Alomari (more on him below). The keynote speaker at the fundraiser was Wagdi Mohammed Ghoneim, an Islamic cleric who has since been deported because of his meetings with two of the 9/11 hijackers.
The disturbing thing is that for years, the feds–including Homeland Security civil rights officer Daniel Sutherland, U.S. Attorney Stephen Murphy III, and his predecessor Jeffrey Collins–have feted this charity, all while it was apparently funding Islamic terrorists.
My columns on LIFE certainly made a difference with its top officers. Mohammed Alomari–LIFE’s spokesman and the author of an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory book and an article complaining that there are Jews in the Bush Administration–has been harassing me ever since I started writing about him and LIFE, including a page on his website, where he refers to me by the anti-Semitic slur, “Shyster.” He also has repeatedly tried to alter the already inaccurate entry on me on Wikipedia.
LIFE’s in-house general counsel, Ihsan Alkhatib, wrote a column in the Arab American News calling me a “verbal terrorist,” whatever that means. Alkhatib is also the President and general counsel for the Midwest Regional ADC (American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee), headed by former Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist Imad Hamad–who also has close ties to LIFE. Senator Carl Levin, Alomari, and LIFE credited Hamad with getting LIFE USAID tax-funded status to administer our tax money in Iraq.
In 2002, LIFE led the Saddam Hussein propaganda trip that U.S. Democratic Congressmen David Bonior, Jim McDermott, and Mike Thompson, which was also funded by Iraqi oil-for-food scam artist Shakir Alkhafaji–who is living, free, in the Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield, despite $70 million in earnings he obtained from doing business with Saddam.
From my 2003 column on LIFE, Imad Hamad lost a scheduled FBI award from Director Robert Mueller, because he was under investigation for terrorism:
One of those investigations apparently involves Hamad’s close ties to Muthanna Al-Hanooti, Mohammed Alomari, and their charities, LIFE for Relief and Development and FAAIR (Focus on Arab American Issues and Reform). Hidden in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Southfield, Michigan, LIFE is believed to fund Hamas via contributions to Hamas front groups identified in 2001 by FBI Assistant Director for Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence, Dale Watson.
One such front, Human Appeal International, believed by the FBI to be Hamas’ Jordanian operation, was listed in LIFE tax returns as one of three supported organizations receiving millions in contributions. Human Appeal and another organization LIFE works with, Human Relief Foundation, are listed as participants in the “101 days campaign” website of Sheikh Youssef Al-Qaradawi, spiritual leader of terrorist group Muslim Brotherhood. The site is believed to raise money for homicide bombings Al-Qaradawi supports.
Alomari’s book, “The Secrecy of Evil“, and other writings allege Jewish control of the world and the Bush administration. His Daru Salam mosque radio website claimed Jews and the U.S. “organized” the 9/11 attacks. A 1996 LIFE fundraiser, arranged by Hanooti, featured speaker Sheik Abdulmunem Abu Zant, an ardent Hamas supporter, who said, “May G-d attack the Jews and those who stand with them. May G-d attack the Americans and those who stand with them.” Hanooti appeared with indicted Islamic Jihad frontman Sami Al-Arian at a recent American Muslim Council lobbying seminar. LIFE’s original registered agent (under its previous name, International Relief Association), Masood Aijazi, worked for Khalid bin Mahfouz, the financier of Muwafaq Foundation, designated a terrorist charity by the U.S. government.
Hamad’s relationship with these parties is long-term and tight. A 1999 press release by Hamad’s American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee credits Hamad with getting Senator Carl Levin, then-Senator Spencer Abraham, and David Bonior to grant LIFE a license to send millions to Iraq. “We have a special relationship with ADC here in Detroit.” Hanooti said. “This is another example of the value of cooperation between our organizations . . . to advance our common agenda.” In May 2003, Hamad visited terrorist-sponsor Syria and Lebanon with Hanooti and Alomari. Given all of this, a recent FAAIR newsletter photo of Collins (below) smilingly posing between Al-Hanooti, Hamad, and Alomari, at a FAAIR event, is disturbing. It is bad enough that a U.S. Attorney would associate with known anti- Semites. Worse, if Collins’ office ever indicts them, it could be embarrassing.
Apparently, I’m not such a verbal terrorist at all, because the FBI finally took my investigative work on LIFE seriously. Again, they’re raiding the charity as I write.
We’ll see what they do with it after that. Given the incompetence of U.S. Attorney Stephen Murphy III–who has let other Islamic terror raidees flee the country before he indicts them–I’m not holding my breath.
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