October 30, 2001, - 3:58 am

Jihad Nightmare on Elm Street

By Debbie Schlussel

It’s Halloween time. And “Nightmare on Elm Street” fills the cable airwaves. Fortunately, however, Freddy Kruger, the horror-movie terrorist with box-cutters for fingernails, is only fiction.

Unlike the Sept. 11 victims, Freddy’s prey can live, if they wake up from their nightmares, and Freddy’s limited dialogue of “This is G-d,” as he’s about to kill his victims with boxcutter-fingers, is only a Hollywood script–though it’s eerily similar to the boxcutter-touting hijackers who murdered for Allah.

But unlike Freddy–who just haunts movie screens–the dialogue of Islamic Jihad front-man and University of South Florida Professor Dr. Sami Al-Arian is significantly more graphic than the fictional Freddy’s, using the name of Allah to preach of paying respects to “the river of blood that gushes forth and does not extinguish, from butchery to butchery, and from martyrdom to martyrdom, from Jihad to Jihad.” “Let us damn America. Let us damn their allies until death. Why do we stop?”


It’s enough to make even Freddy Kruger cringe.

This the real-life Nightmare that stretches beyond middle America’s Elm Street to Pennsylvania Avenue and the White House, to First Street and the Capitol, with Dr. and Mrs. Al-Arian’s contributions to congressmen, including Congressman Hyde (The proverbial Mr. Hyde of Stevenson horror-novel fame? You decide.) and his budding kinship with the president.

Yet Al-Arian’s campaign contributions raise questions far more complex than a campy 1980s Wes Craven horror classic. To wit, how could a professor who makes only $66,175 per year, according to the Tampa Tribune-Times, afford to give at least $7,750 in campaign contributions in less than two years (09/05/99-06/17/01)? Al-Arian’s wife, identified as a homemaker on campaign contributions, doesn’t work, and the Al-Arians have five children. Their large contributions are conspicuous, given their financial reality. Not to mention Dr. and Mrs. Al-Arian’s expensive clothing. Where’s the money coming from? Islamic Jihad? Money laundering, as the FBI accused him of doing for the 1993 WTC bombers? Just like Jesse Jackson’s mysterious wealth bears scrutiny, so does that of the Islamic Jihad front-man in America and his family.

Then there’s the matter of education financing for his two children–a daughter who attends expensive Georgetown University, and a son, Abdullah, who attends equally exorbitant Duke University. At about $30,000 annually for each child, where is the money coming from? Reliable sources believe their tuition may be paid for by the bin Laden family. Whether or not that’s the case, the economics of the education of the Al-Arian progeny bears examination by federal authorities. If they are on scholarship, how can their parents afford to give thousands in campaign contributions but not pay for tuition? In that case, Al-Arian family financial-aid statements should be investigated. If they are not on scholarship, then who is paying the sum of about $60,000 per year in tuition? If the Al-Arians are paying it, where is the money coming from on an income of $66,175 a year, pre-tax? It’s time for President Bush’s new money-laundering investigative powers to be used on his buddy Al-Arian.

Freddy never went beyond terrorizing children. But Al-Arian’s scarier. He’s terrorizing this country’s foreign and military policy. During the early ’90s–before, during and after the Gulf War–Al-Arian’s World and Islam Studies Enterprise (which the FBI identified as a terrorist front-group, which “brought terrorists into the U.S. and raised funds for Islamic Jihad and Hamas”) and the University of South Florida had a contract with Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base. The agreement paid WISE thousands of dollars to educate top U.S. military leaders, like Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, on the Middle East and South Asia. Instructors included Al-Arian, Khalil Shikaki, (brother of then-Islamic Jihad world chief, Fathi Shikaki), and Hasan Al-Turabi, the Sudanese version of Ayatollah Khomeini and a likely bin Laden ally. Incredibly, our tax dollars were used to pay Arab terrorists to set the intellectual agenda for the top U.S. military policymakers.

Freddy Kruger would have been envious of such creativity.

But that was in the ’90s. And there’s a new Islamic Jihad Nightmare on Elm Street–yet another sequel. Today, Al-Arian is on paid leave from USF–courtesy of us taxpayers. But, in addition to that, he still has access to the University and to his colleagues. The USF is the leader in current bioterrorism research for the federal government through its Center for Biological Defense, biological anti-terrorism research through its biology department, and robotics search-and-rescue research through its engineering departments. Dr. Al-Arian’s continued presence on the USF faculty presents a huge national-security risk to the millions spent on this important research. It’s time for him to go.

It’s time for us to wake up from the Final Jihad Nightmare on Elm Street.

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