September 18, 2003, - 5:30 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
[NOTE: An abridged version of this ran in the New York Post. As a result, the FBI revoked the award the agency planned to give Imad Hamad.]
Madeline Sweeney might be turning over in her grave.
On October 9th, the courageous flight attendant murdered aboard Flight 11, which hit the World Trade Center’s North Tower on 9/11, will be honored posthumously by FBI Director Robert Mueller.
Unfortunately, she is being honored along with a man who supports terrorism and was himself a suspected terrorist.
When Sweeney’s husband, Michael, accepts her award for Exceptional Public Service at a ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington, Imad Hamad will be bestowed with the same honor – the only other non-FBI civilian to be so honored in America, this year.
Given Hamad’s record, it is outrageous the FBI would honor him for anything. And it is an abomination of Sweeney’s heroism in the face of sudden death by terrorists. (Information she gave on a phone call to the ground helped the FBI piece together evidence and reconstruct the hijackings.)
Born in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, Hamad was a suspected member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Communist faction of Palestinian terrorism responsible for countless homicide bombings and the October 2001 assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi.
The INS was so opposed to Hamad’s presence in the United States that it fought to deport him for over two decades. But, under political pressure from Michigan politicians, like Senator Carl Levin and Rep. David Bonior, the immigration judge chose to disregard classified evidence, and he is now a U.S. citizen. (Hamad’s lawyer, Noel Saleh, proudly proclaimed that he – Saleh – financially supported Hezbollah.)
Since then, as Midwest Regional Director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), Hamad has been busy promoting the terrorist cause–doing interviews throughout the Detroit media supporting Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic hate.
In a 2002 broadcast on Detroit’s FOX affiliate, Imad Hamad supported a Palestinian Authority TV “Sesame Street”-style program that urges Palestinian children to kill Jews and Christians and urges them to become homicide bombers. In it, a boy sings, “When I wander into Jerusalem, I will become a suicide bomber.” Another song: “How pleasant is the smell of martyrs . . . the land enriched by the blood, the blood pouring out of a fresh body.” Hamad called the program “patriotic.”
In a March 1999 Detroit News interview, Hamad defended the same program and Palestinian textbooks that portray Westerners, Christians, and Jews as the enemies of Islam and the Arab World.
Hamad has opposed virtually every arrest, indictment and conviction of Islamic terrorists.
When men were arrested (and later convicted) for smuggling arms to Hezbollah over Detroit’s Ambassador Bridge, Hamad wished for “better U.S. relations with Hezbollah,” the terrorist group which murdered over 300 American Marines and civilians. “People here are morally supportive” of Hezbollah, he said. When Customs raided several Islamic businesses and arrested owners for laundering over $50 million per year to Yemen in violation of the Patriot Act, Hamad protested. When four Detroit Al-Quaida sleeper cell suspects were charged (three were convicted) of plotting to blow up landmarks and tourist attractions, Hamad protested that, too.
Then there’s the 2002 National Palestinian Student Conference on the Palestine Solidarity Movement, whose ostensible purpose was to promote divestment from Israel. “Annihilate the Jews” was chanted in Arabic at the University of Michigan conference, which featured indicted alleged Islamic Jihad frontman Sami Al-Arian as its keynote speaker, along with other anti-Western, anti-Semitic speakers, some with terrorist ties. Hamad’s Michigan ADC sponsored and endorsed the conference, which was organized by ADC-University of Michigan chief Fadi Kiblawi. Under Hamad’s “leadership,” Kiblawi authored an article stating he wished to “strap a bomb to one’s chest and kill” Jews.
At Michigan ADC’s April 25th awards banquet, Hamad gave its “Attorney of the Year” award to Nabih Ayad, an attorney for several accused terrorists and over 130 illegal Middle Eastern immigrants who paid off an INS employee to become instant greencard holders. Hamad and Ayad sued to keep them from being deported. Ayad’s clients, include Omar Abdel Fatah Al-Shishani–accused of attempting to launder $12 million in phony bank checks to fund Al-Qaeda–who recently pled guilty to a lesser charge and is awaiting sentencing. Hamad defended him, too.
Hamad has been busy globetrotting to promote the Islamist cause. In January, he led a delegation to terrorist sponsor state Syria, where Syrian officials discussed American disinformation campaigns targeting Arabs and Muslims and hailed Hamad for “enlightening the US public opinion about the reality of the situation in the Middle East.” In May, he visited Lebanese Parliament President and former Shi’ite Amal Militia chief Nabih Berry, leading a delegation which included several men who head Detroit Islamic charities that are suspected Hamas and Al-Qaeda fronts.
Hamad’s latest effort is opposing Michigan Senate Resolution 77, which denounces Palestinian terrorism and supports Israel in fighting against it.
Hamad was nominated for the award by Detroit FBI Special Agent in Charge Willie Hulon because he organized BRIDGES, a group of Arabs who meet with Hulon and other Detroit federal agents once a month to protest arrests of suspected terrorists, and because he enlisted Hulon to partner with ADC for its unique brand of sensitivity training for Detroit area high schoolers. Since Hamad has opposed the FBI and other government efforts to thwart terrorism every step of the way and given his views, the FBI award is like an award to Fritz Kuhn and his Nazi-sympathizing German American Bund during World War II.
That would be bad enough.
But Robert Mueller is equating Hamad with a heroic murdered flight attendant who acted bravely in the face of terrorists.
You’d think the FBI would have more respect for the dead.
Stop the FBI from giving this absurd award to terror supporter, Imad Hamad. Call FBI HQ @ (202) 324-3000, ask for Director Robert Mueller’s office and lodge your complaint.
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