October 26, 2001, - 1:02 am
“Money is like manure,” said U.S. industrialist Clint Murchison. “If you spread it around, it does a lot of good. But if you pile it up in one place, it stinks like hell.”
Today, a very malodorous scent emanates from elected federal officials who’ve received a concentrated pile of campaign contributions from a Muslim Arab terrorist front-man on U.S. soil.
Dr. Sami Al-Arian, a University of South Florida professor, is Islamic Jihad’s front-man in the U.S. His favorite elected official, Congressman David Bonior, D-Mich., the House Democratic Whip until this month, is now a leading candidate for the Michigan governorship.
According to Federal Election Commission records, and the Center for Responsive Politics’ opensecrets.org, which tracks contributions to federal candidates, Al-Arian and his wife, Nahla, donated at least $3,450 dollars to Bonior’s campaign in this and the previous election cycle.
They also gave $2,000 to Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., aka Jihad Cindy, in 2000. McKinney wrote a reprehensible letter of apology to Prince Alwaleed bin Talal for New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s criticism of the prince’s justification for the Sept. 11 attacks. No wonder McKinney and Henry Hyde, R-Ill., to whom Al-Arian gave $1,000, objected to an Oct. 3rd congressional screening of “Jihad in America,” featuring Al-Arian’s “activities.” Former Rep. Tom Campbell, R-Calif., got $1,300. Al-Arian and family also hung out with candidate Bush in campaign 2000 and were at the White House this summer.
Al-Arian associates are tied to Osama bin Laden, including Tarik Hamdi, former manager Islamic Committee for Palestine, a terrorist front-group according to the FBI, of which Al-Arian is president. According to the Tampa Tribune, Hamdi arranged a bin Laden interview in Afghanistan for ABC News in May 1998 and provided a replacement battery for a satellite phone prosecutors say was integral to bin Laden’s August 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (224 people were killed). Documents in the trial of four men convicted in May 2001, in those bombings, prove Hamdi’s interaction for al-Quaida. (Hamdi gave $250 to Campbell’s campaign.)
FBI and INS affidavits document Al-Arian’s “fraud and misuse of visas” and “aiding and abetting or assisting certain aliens” involved in terrorism to unlawfully enter the U.S., including Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, now head of Islamic Jihad–a major component of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist network, according to the Wall Street Journal. Al-Arian also “raised funds for Islamic Jihad,” and was cozy with 1993 WTC attack convicts and conspirators.
At a deportation hearing for his brother-in-law Mazen Al-Najjar–whom the FBI and INS say is a mid-level terrorist, Al-Arian “invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination 99 times,” according to the Associated Press. A 1988 video shows Al-Arian raising money for the Islamic Committee for Palestine, which the event’s master of ceremonies introduces as “the active arm of the Islamic Jihad.”
Al-Arian’s campaign contributions and political buddies relate directly to the Sept. 11 attacks. He is a “civil rights” leader in America’s organized Muslim Arabs’ fight against the use of secret evidence against potential and proven terrorists who try to enter the United States, under the Secret Evidence Act under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. Parties against whom attempts to use secret evidence have been employed, include Al-Arian, himself, whose citizenship application is in limbo, and Al-Najjar, who is scheduled for deportation. In campaigning to Al-Arian and other Arab Muslims in the U.S., Bush and Bonior promised to do away with use of secret evidence and profiling.
And they have kept their promises. In May 1999, Bonior and Campbell introduced the Secret Evidence Repeal Act. Bush, at his first address to a joint session of Congress declared the end of secret evidence and profiling and, in February, issued a directive to Attorney General John Ashcroft to “work in cooperation with state and local law enforcement to assess the extent and nature of any such practices.”
Because of this, FBI agents missed the opportunity to discover and prevent the attacks. In August, top Justice and FBI officials turned down Minneapolis FBI agents’ requests for a special counterintelligence surveillance warrant to open the computer hard drive of bin Laden associate Zacarias Moussaoui. An Eagan, Minn. Flight school tipped them off that the French Algerian sought instruction on steering a Boeing 747, but not taking off or landing. French intelligence alerted the FBI that Moussaoui, in custody since Aug. 17 on immigration violations, has ties to terrorist groups.
But, under Bush’s and Ashcroft’s new rules against secret evidence and profiling–competing against Democrats like Bonior for the Arab Muslim vote–that information was deemed insufficient for a warrant. According to Newsweek and MSNBC, when agents finally cracked into Moussaoui’s hard drive, after the attacks, they found information detailing plans for terrorist attacks. Moussaoui, trained in Afghani camps, has been linked to hijacking-leader Mohammad Atta’s roommate, and is now believed to have been a would-be hijacker on Flight 93 that crashed near Pittsburgh.
Regarding Bush’s and Bonior’s prohibition of secret evidence, Al-Arian told the Brown Daily Herald, “When you get involved in politics, people start listening.”
And thanks to them listening to Islamic Jihad’s man in America, the last thing 6,000 victims listened to was the sound of crashing planes and collapsing buildings.
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