Port of Miami or Port of Jihadi ?
Should an Imam be be running one of the nations biggest ports?
Port of Miami or Port of Jihadi
In December 2002, the Washington Post published an alarming report stating that "U.S. intelligence officials had identified approximately 15 cargo freighters around the world that they believed were controlled by al Qaeda or could be used by the terrorist network to ferry operatives, bombs, money or commodities over the high seas." It further stated that, since September 2001, the U.S. maintained a list of up to 50 al Qaeda "mystery ships."
The greatest fear, according to the Post article, is a scenario where one or more of these vessels would be used to blow holes in cruise ships, as what happened to the USS Cole and the French oil tanker Limburg, both off the coast of Yemen.
One American location that has been of particular concern regarding this is Miami, where just recently a 50-foot wooden freighter, undetected by authorities, ran aground whilst 220 undocumented Haitian passengers took to the shore. Bruce Stubbs, an ex-Coast Guard captain and now security consultant asked, "If the Coast Guard can't stop 200 people on a freighter from coming into the port of Miami, how can they stop a terrorist with a dirty bomb?"
This question becomes that much more difficult to answer, when the port you're discussing is governed by those that possibly harbor sympathies for the attackers themselves.
Khalid Salahuddin, or Brother Khalid as he is affectionately known, is the Deputy Director for the Seaport of Miami. He received the position via an appointment from Director Chares Towsley, shortly after sca-ndal had rocked the port when illegally diverted port funds had made their way into Democratic Party coffers.
As Deputy Director, Salahuddin's responsibilities are many. He solicits Miami business via cargo and cruise ships; he attends and participates in various diplomatic functions, including trade missions, symposiums, news conferences and government briefings, with members of the international community; and he oversees port employment.
That last part came under scrutiny in late 2001, when an NBC 6 news report emerged questioning the hiring practices of the port. In it, it was stated that, out of 1300 members of the three major Longshoremen's unions listed in port records checked, every one in five were convicted felons in Florida, with offenses that included "attempted murder, armed robbery, assault and battery, trafficking in cocaine, grand theft, auto theft, and sex with a child."
When confronted about this, Salahuddin had this to say: "From our standpoint, what benefit would it do to kick him out on the street? We see none"
The report also had something ominous to say about easy access to the port. Jim McDonough, Florida Drug Control Director stated, "I think we have to be very prudent about who we put in the hen-house. We generally don't put the wolf in the hen-house, based on the promise that reform has taken place."
But almost two years later, is the wolf still guarding the hen-house?
Aside from being the Deputy Director of the port, Salahuddin is also the imam of what is said to be the oldest and largest mosque in South Florida, Masjid Al-Ansar. That in itself doesn't pose a problem, but his views and affiliations do.
Before coming to "the pure teachings of al-Islam," and before becoming a "true believer," Salahuddin was a member of the Nation of Islam, the organization headed by the virulently anti-Jewish and anti-American Louis Farrakhan.
This bit of information is found on a website for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which is selling a tape featuring Salahuddin. ISNA is an organization that serves as "an umbrella group for hundreds of Islamic organizations in North America, some of which promote the Islamic fundamentalist doctrine of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad" (Steven Emerson, American Jihad, 2002). Upon his death, Salahuddin gave a memorial speech for Hamid Iqbal Siddiqui, an East Zone Representative for ISNA.
The other individual featured on this video is Maulana Shafayat Mohamed, the spiritual leader of Darul Aloom, the Islamic center where "dirty bomber" Jose Padilla worshipped and where Imran Mandhai and Mossa Jokhan are said to have plotted attacks on a National Guard armory and South Florida electrical power stations.
On February 16, 2002, Salahuddin officiated a fundraising event sponsored by the American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA), a group whose website boasts anti-homosexual material and contains a graphic link to www.islamonline.net, a site which features religious/legal opinions in support of suicide bombings.
On September 21, 2002, Salahuddin was one of the main speakers in an event sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR was formed by three leaders of a front for the terrorist organization Hamas and has had numerous high ranking members suspected of and convicted of terrorist activity. The Executive Director of CAIR, Nihad Awad, has stated that he supports Hamas.
Other speakers at this event were:
Khalid Salahuddin's mosque is tied to another attorney with troubles. The registered agent for Masjid Al-Ansar is Nashid Sabir, a lawyer that has numerous business dealings with ex-State Representative Willie Logan. In 1997, the Bar admonished Sabir for missing a key hearing for one of his clients. In 2001, the Bar found probable cause to believe he violated ethics rules in the 1997 deportation case of a Dominican man. And in 2002, Sabir was reprimanded for professional misconduct regarding an immigration case.
And just like Akhtar Hussein, Sabir also provided legal services to a radical. In 2002, Sabir was the lawyer for convicted terrorist Imran Mandhai (see above). But that makes sense, because, while he's the registered agent for Masjid Al-Ansar, he's also a Founding Director and the Assistant Secretary for Darul Aloom, Mandhai's house of worship.
The website of Masjid Al-Ansar contains only two outside links, one to Yahoo Maps and one to iviews.com, a site that features rabidly anti-Jewish and anti-American writings. Prior to being arrested earlier this year on firearms and conspiracy charges in relation to a group associated with al Qaeda, Randal Todd "Ismael" Royer served as iviews.com's Washington Bureau Chief.
All of these things must be taken into account, when considering the sensitive nature of the position Khalid Salahuddin holds at the Seaport of Miami.
On Oct 15, 2003, a forum was held by the Coordinating Committee on Public Safety to discuss Florida's unique security concerns. The meeting, which was attended by law enforcement and state government officials, highlighted the Port of Miami's vulnerability to attack. A proposal was put forth regarding the building of a "security wall" around the port. However, when the time comes, no wall can hold out the terrorists, when they have a sympathizer sitting in charge, right on the inside.