June 12, 2008, - 5:17 am
EXCLUSIVE: Who is Mohammed Al-Churbaji?: Key Al-Qaeda Terrorist “Abu Salim’s” Son is Barack Obama Fundraiser; Islamic Terrorist “Mr. Mom”
By Debbie Schlussel, Copyright 2008
**** Must Cite Debbie Schlussel and link to DebbieSchlussel.com; Not for Use by Aaron Klein, WorldNutDaily ****
One of Al-Qaeda’s top terrorists still in America was recently on trial for deportation. And almost no-one noticed.
I was the only journalist to cover the April/May trial of Mohammed Al-Churbaji a/k/a “Abu Salim,” a/k/a “Abu Mohammed Salim,” at Immigration Court in Detroit.
And the Al-Churbaji trial was illustrative of the multiple Achilles heels of American counterterrorism and immigration policies:
* How hard it is to get rid of known terrorists in our midst and how easy it is for a deported Al-Qaeda terrorist to return to America;
* How corrupt U.S. embassy officials get away with re-admitting terrorists into the U.S.;
* How easily terrorists and their families gain acceptance by our society, including the Barack Obama Presidential campaign;
* How America’s universities are not tools of moderation for Muslim foreigners, but breeding grounds for terrorist fraternization and conception for international terrorist plots; and
* How terrorist anchor babies take root, even if we succeed in deporting their parents.
Mohammed Imad Al-Churbaji is one of Al-Qaeda’s top terrorists in America. His connections at the top of Al-Qaeda are tight and span the global Al-Qaeda network, from Syria to Hamburg to Spain to Afghanistan to Peshawar to Ein El-Hilweh and Dunniyeh, Lebanon, to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to HAMAS operations in Richardson, Texas.
In between a sham marriage to an American and stints in the U.S., Al-Churbaji lived with top Al-Qaeda martyrs and figures and worked for the co-founder of Al-Qaeda and its spiritual leader. And he helped organize, fundraise for, and transport arms (claiming it’s “humanitarian aid”) to Al-Qaeda jihadists around the Muslim world. Al-Churbaji made a career of working for organizations known as Al-Qaeda fronts.
Al Churbaji is a Syrian national currently living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, from where he is fighting the Department of Homeland Security’s endeavors to deport him. If successful, this will be the second deportation for Al-Churbaji, after a return to the U.S. that violated federal immigration and deportation policies. More on that later.
But even if Al-Churbaji is deported, at least two of his six children, a son and a daughter, were both born here and are by law U.S. citizens. These terrorist anchor babies can carry on what he started.
One of them is his son, Mohamed Salim Al-Churbaji a/k/a Salim Alchurbaji (heretofore referred to as, “Salim”). He is a student at the University of Michigan and serves as a Barack Obama fundraiser and organizer, according to Salim’s own testimony. He testified that he, Salim, has made at least one recent trip to terrorist host state Syria, their father’s native country, but his brother testified that it was actually at least two trips, including one in the last year-and-a-half.
What were they doing in Syria–a country where they could be tortured due to their father’s memberships in the Muslim Brotherhood? We may never find out. A College Democrats activist and political chairman of the U-M Muslim Students Association, Salim also done some modeling and fancies himself as something of a male supermodel. But you can bet, he wasn’t posing or exploring fashion in Syria.
Mohamed Imad Al-Churbaji, also known as “Abu Salim” [Father of Salim], rose from “grocery store clerk” to Regional Director and, later global spokesman for the Global Relief Foundation (GRF), shut down by the U.S. government for being a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entity and funding Al-Qaeda. That is, if you can believe Al-Churbaji was ever a grocery store clerk. At the time he and his current wife claim he was Mr. Bagger Boy, he was actually an organizer for Al-Qaeda.
Al-Churbaji first came to the United States in the mid-1980s from Damascus. He married a woman named Pamela Shepherd in what was a sham marriage. Then, when he was in the process of being deported, he married an American convert to Islam, Denise. It is unclear whether Al-Churbaji was legally divorced from his first “wife” when he married Denise. From the stand, Denise Al-Churbaji a/k/a “Um Salim,” an employee of the University of Michigan–who wears a hijab and a long thobe–made a statement about not realizing at the time that “2nd” wives had no legal rights. Actually a current wife has plenty of legal rights, if her husband is legally divorced from his first wife and legally married to her.
Al-Churbaji’s second marriage didn’t succeed in stopping the then-INS from deporting him, but the Al-Churbajis managed to squeeze out an American born son, Salim, just before they fled to Pakistan in January of 1988.
In Pakistan, Al-Churbaji, claims he was an employee of Muslim Aid and then the Saudi Red Crescent, then Regional Director for Global Relief Foundation for Pakistan. But he was actually working for the “Godfather of Jihad,” the late Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, who co-founded Al-Qaeda with Osama Bin Laden and was Bin Laden’s spiritual guru, and for Bin Laden himself, in Maktab Al-Khidamat (MAK), the forerunner to Al-Qaeda.
In Pakistan, the Al-Churbajis had four more kids, while they lived at a house in Peshawar, Pakistan, where their roommates are a “Who’s Who” of international Sunni jihad. FBI agent Rob Miranda–the case agent in the government’s case against the HAMAS front-group, Holy Land Foundation–testified that while in Pakistan, Al-Churbaji and his wife shared a Peshawar house with:
* Abu Rawdha, a leading mujahideen fighter killed fighting in Afghanistan in 1991 or ’92;
* Bassam Ahmad Kanj a/k/a “Abu A’isha,” a mujahideen fighter who fought for Bin Laden and his mentor, Sheikh Azzam, in Afghanistan, and later, became a leading member of Lebanese Al-Qaeda terrorist group, “Usbat Al-Ansar” [The League of Supporters/Helpers]. With financing from Bin Laden, Kanj, founded Takfir wa al-Hijra, a splinter group of Usbat Al-Ansar, and he was killed in Lebanon in January 2000, in a terrorist attack on the Lebanese government.
Kanj was an important figure because, at the time, he was one of the few Lebanese mujahideen who’d also fought in Afghanistan and was an important figure in linking Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan to Al-Qaeda in Lebanon.
Kanj’s wife, Marlene Earl Kanj Al-Mirabi, an American convert to Islam, told the FBI she met and married him when they were students at Boston University. She also said he met and consorted with another Boston University Muslim, Mohammed Chehade, who also worked for the terrorist entity for which Al-Churbaji worked, Global Relief Foundation.
* Rabih Haddad a/k/a “Abu Abdullah,” who was deported from the U.S. in 2003. Haddad, who also lived in Ann Arbor with his wife and family, was the founder and chief of Global Relief Foundation (and was also a fundraiser for HAMAS-front group, CAIR–the Council on American-Islamic Relations). The government also said he is an Al-Qaeda terrorist.
* “Abu Amatallah,” another terrorist.
Special Agent Miranda testified that at the time, all of these roomies, including Al-Churbaji, worked for Bin Laden mentor, Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, at his Makhtab Al-Khidamat (MAK), Azzam’s and Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda forerunner. Marlene Kanj, wife of the late Al-Qaeda terrorist Bassam Kanj, gave this information in an FBI interview. Her latest husband, Anwar Al-Mirabi, a Saudi Al-Qaeda terror suspect arrested here after 9/11, was reportedly deported and left with his wife and family.
All of these terrorist roommates–top operatives in the original Al-Qaeda–attended the same mosque in Peshawar. Even Al-Churbaji admitted on the stand that both Sheikh Azzam and Bin Laden attended the mosque and that he saw them there. All of these terrorist roommates also attended the Center Street Mosque in Arlington, Texas. Coincidence? Nope. It’s an Al-Qaeda “family” reunion. They don’t call it Al-Ikhwan–”The Brotherhood”–for nothin’.
Al-Churbaji’s wife claimed that he worked for Muslim Aid and then Saudi Red Crescent. But this line of “employment” was the exact one claimed by Rabih Haddad, his future boss in America. Again, in actuality, they were both working for MAK, Bin Laden’s and Azzam’s precursor to Al-Qaeda.
Ultimately, Al-Churbaji held the position of “Regional Director” for Global Relief Foundation in Pakistan , though he didn’t really cover any region. But other “Regional Directors” were in fact terrorist leaders and coordinated GRF’s terrorist weapons and money-laundering operations. And evidence and documents provided by the government show that Al-Churbaji did the same.
Al Churbaji repeatedly lied on the stand, claiming that he didn’t know his roommate, terrorist martyr Abu Rawdha, and that Faisalabad–to where he claimed he went to distribute “food to refugees”–was right next to Islamabad. In fact, Faisalabad is nowhere near Islamabad and is far northeast of it. But it is near the border of Kashmir, where he and his roommates–at the direction of Bin Laden and Azzam–were supplying weapons and other support to jihadists. (Not only was GRF fomenting jihad against the Indian government in Kashmir, but its newsletters quoted Azzam and called for a Taliban against Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan.)
So, how did the Al-Churbaji family make it back into the U.S.? Well, that’s interesting. Since Al-Churbaji was already deported once and engaged in a sham marriage, he was not eligible to come back at the time. But his wife, Denise, claims that she was directed to contact a U.S. Embassy employee, Sam Libby, to get her and her husband visas. Magically, Sam Libby, broke the rules and–voila!–the visas, golden tickets into America, were issued.
Just how much money did Sam Libby get from Al-Qaeda for issuing visas to operatives, like Mohammed Al-Churbaji, prohibited from entry into the U.S.? And is the U.S. government looking into all of the visas issued by or connected to him? While such an investigation should be a no-brainer, don’t bet on it. There is no evidence that Libby was ever investigated or disciplined. We’re from the government, and we’re here to help you, er . . . the terrorists.
And once the previously deported Al-Churbaji got his illegal re-entry back into America, did he take advantage of this fresh opportunity and go legit? Well, yes and no. Yes, he took advantage of this fresh opportunity . . . engaging in new terrorist financing, money-laundering, and weapons supply.
Al-Churbaji testified that he served in America as a fundraising aid and publicist to GRF founder and chief (and his former Pakistan roommate) Rabih Haddad, accompanying him to speaking events and passing out fliers about GRF. But, in fact, Al-Churbaji’s position was listed as “Regional Director” a/k/a terrorist helper, until after 9/11, when his wife filled out yet another application for citizenship for her husband. Then, she changed his position to “PR,” trying to place him in a lower rank and not in a position of policy-making for this terrorist front group.
Of note is the fact that Hazem Raghab, the man Al-Churbaji replaced as U.S. Regional Director for GRF, was an associate of Wadih El-Hage, Osama Bin Laden’s secretary, now in prison for the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa. At the time, El-Hage made frequent contact with GRF. Al-Churbaji, himself, had contacts with El-Hage.
But Agent Miranda testified that, while Al-Churbaji was the number two man in GRF, pictures found at Illinois headquarters showed twelve boxes of hand-held digital radios, base stations, sandbagged bunker tents, long range aerials/antennae, hand-held power packs, and other similar sophisticated equipment.
He testified that the 200 radios GRF had was a larger stock of equipment than many police departments have. GRF materials and newsletters showed pictures of dead, mutilated mujahideen with radios from the Kashmir press. Other pictures showed dead men with the caption “Hizbul Mujahideen,” a Kashmiri terrorist group. The picture bore Arabic handwriting with the notation, “two martyrs killed by the Indian government.”
Page 91 of the 9/11 Commission staff report cites Chicago FBI counterterrorism investigations and notes that GRF sent a significant amount of money to extremist causes and freelances to support jihadists around the world. That’s in addition to Agent Miranda’s testimony that GRF and the HAMAS-front group, Holy Land Foundation, co-mingled and gave each other funds. (GRF also transferred funds to Al-Qaeda financier Mohammed Zouaydi.) Again, Miranda is the FBI case agent in the HLF matter.
Now that Al-Churbaji is unemployed, his wife, Denise, testified that she is the breadwinner, as a pharmacy technician at the tax-funded University of Michigan, where she earns about $36,000 annually on your dime. After all, it’s imperative that American taxpayers finance Al-Qaeda operatives’ families while they fight deportation.
But not to worry. Mrs. Al-Churbaji told the courtroom that she is emotionally and physically unable to care for her 5 or 6 children. And Mr. Al-Churbaji does it for her, while she goes into her room and sleeps after work every day. The First Islamic Terrorist “Mr. Mom.” Yes, there is “diversity” in every realm in America.
While attempting to stay here and get U.S. citizenship, Al-Churbaji has had a steady supply of liberal democrat helpers who’ve written the government on this Al-Qaeda terrorist’s behalf, including the late Senator Paul Simon, former Senator Carol Moseley Braun, and Congressman-For-Life from Dearbornistan, John Dingell. What’s disturbing is that–even though Al-Churbaji was already deported and should never have been given a second visa and readmitted–America must go through the long deportation process to get rid of him. And the U.S. government and FBI–unwilling to produce important classified evidence against Al-Churbaji to public scrutiny–won’t prosecute him in the criminal courts. It must rely on the less stringent Immigration Court to get rid of him.
If it’s this difficult to get rid of a key Al-Qaeda terrorist on our soil–and it is–we will never beat them.
A few things were notable about Mr. Al-Churbaji’s performance on the witness stand in Immigration Court in Detroit. He sports tacky bright red henna dye on his hair and beard–the “Jeri Curl” of jihadists, similar to that sported by Moroccan Al-Qaeda leader Ahmed Rafiki and HAMAS terrorist leader Mohammed Abu Tir. And he pretended to speak broken English with a heavy accent. This act was in stark contrast to the far-less-pronounced accent and well-spoken English we heard him speak in the Immigration Court waiting room. His repeated denials of knowing the top Al-Qaeda figures with whom he shared a home were so phony, I thought I was listening to Sgt. Schultz of “Hogan’s Heroes.”
Also notable is Al-Churbaji’s lawyer, Noel Saleh, about whom I’ve written a great deal over the last decade. The thrice-disciplined Palestinian attorney who was President of ACCESS, the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, a tax funded organization that helps Muslim illegal aliens and openly supports HAMAS and Hezbollah. Saleh is still the attorney for this Islamist agency that continues to defraud Medicaid by helping pregnant Muslim aliens come here to give birth, get citizenship, and have your tax dollars pay for it.
Saleh announced at a public forum that he gave money to Hezbollah. And he was also the lawyer for Al-Churbaji’s co-conspirator, Global Relief Foundation founder and chief, Rabih Haddad. Saleh proudly sported an ACCESS lapel pin at trial.
Saleh was no match for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Deputy Chief Counsel Mark Jebson. That was despite the illegal coaching from the courtroom that Al-Churbaji’s wife, Denise, gave Mr. Al-Churbaji while he was under oath (despite the fact that she was supposed to be sequestered and out of the courtroom at the time).
A ruling by Immigration Judge Elizabeth Hacker–whom this site has praised in the past for her insightful decisions deporting Islamic terrorists–is expected to issue a decision on Al-Churbaji, late this summer. Hopefully, she will make a similarly wise decision here. But even if she rules he must be deported (for the second time), he can still appeal the decision all the way up to the Supreme Court, which could take years, while he remains on our soil and fathers more American citizen terrorist anchor babies.
In the meantime, this hardened Al-Qaeda terrorist–Mohammed Al-Churbaji–is free as a bird on American soil. And his son continues to be a fixture of the Barack Obama campaign . . . when he’s not making mysterious trips to Syria.