There are three distinct ways to deal with terrorism. One can fight it, in hopes of destroying it. One can join it, in hopes of strengthening it. Or one can deny its existence and hope for the best. By December 3, 2005, two Washington-area Marriott hotels will have chosen the latter, one turning away a counter-terrorism conference and one allowing an alleged terror front and an alleged coconspirator in a terrorist attack to use its facilities.
Part 1: Ally Need Not Apply
Jeffrey Epstein, President of the People's Truth Forum, October 19, 2005: "I would like to inquire as to what your event seating capacity is. I'm looking for something in the range of 1000 seats."
Marriott Georgetown University Conference Hotel fit the bill for a symposium. Epstein met in Washington with Leah Mayo, who claimed to be the sales manager of the hotel. The purpose of the meeting was to sign the contract and provide a deposit check to secure the facility. A contract was written up. While minor details were being worked out, Mayo seemed to be getting overly anxious about something. As she paraded between her supervisor's office and the meeting room, tensions started to rise. Without explanation, the meeting ended with nothing signed.
Patrick Hardy, Sales Manager for Marriott Georgetown, November 11, 2005: "I need to inform you that you will not be permitted to host your event on the hotel grounds, because your organization is not only too controversial, but the venue is not appropriate for this type of function. Marriott corporate headquarters was contacted about this and was supportive of our decision."
Peter Cantone, General Manager for Marriott Georgetown, November 14, 2005: "Your event is too controversial to be held on the property. This decision is based upon business considerations, as the event would call for heightened security since protestors might be attracted from both the student body and off campus. I'm concerned that these protestors might block the main hotel entrance, leading to confrontations with hotel guests and/or room cancellations. Our decision was made due to the objectionable content on your group's website. Marriott corporate headquarters did not play a role in our decision."
The People's Truth Forum (PTF) is a non-partisan, fact-based organization founded with in order to educate the public on issues concerning national security. To do this, PTF creates panels and symposiums featuring only top experts in the field of counter-terrorism. PTF's website is no more than a news clearinghouse that utilizes published stories from all mainstream media sources. There is nothing illegitimate about what this group does or with whom this group associates.
That said, why would this hotel -- a hotel that is part of an upstanding corporate chain -- bar a well-intentioned group such as this from using its facilities? What could make them so afraid? The answer came two days later.
Keith Thomas, Marriott Special Services Department, Corporate Headquarters, November 16, 2005: "Due to the high density of Muslim students on the Georgetown campus, members of the staff at Marriott Georgetown were afraid of the potential for violent protests, injured hotel employees and property damage. This is the official stance of the Marriott Corporation."
Part 2: Room Service for the Enemy
While Marriott Georgetown was barring PTF from hosting an event on its premises, another neighboring Marriott was allowing a very different group onto its grounds.
On its website, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group about which many questions have been asked about its alleged ties to terror groups, is proudly advertising its upcoming 11th Annual Banquet. The location: the Crystal Gateway Marriott, in beautiful Arlington, Virginia.
CAIR is a self-proclaimed Muslim advocacy group that has its roots in the Palestinian Hamas. CAIR's parent organization, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), was founded by Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook. CAIR itself has had several of its officials convicted in and/or deported by the United States for terrorist activity. And CAIR is the defendant in a lawsuit put forward by the family of a lead FBI agent, for that agent's murder during the September 11th attacks. Is this the type of organization the Marriott wants to permit entrance into its hotel?!
And not only is CAIR heading this "banquet," but its bringing an alleged coconspirator of a terrorist operation, Siraj Wahhaj, to speak at the event as well!
Wahhaj is the imam of the At-Taqwa Mosque, in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. But that's not all he's known for. Siraj Wahhaj's claim to fame is that his name appears on a list of 171 potential coconspirators of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. The bombing, which resulted in the murders of six people, was part of a larger conspiracy that had targeted numerous landmarks and businesses throughout New York City. Amongst the other names on the list are Osama bin Laden, bin Laden's mentor Abdullah Azzam, and Fawaz Damra, an individual who will soon be deported for his involvement in Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
Prior to the bombing, the leader of the '93 conspiracy, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman (a.k.a. the Blind Sheikh), worshipped at Wahhaj's mosque and was a featured speaker there. It was no strange occurrence that Wahhaj came forward as a character witness for Abdel Rahman during the trial against the Sheikh. He took the stand and lauded Abdel Rahman, describing him as a "respected scholar." Another worshipper at his mosque and convicted member of the bomb plot was Clement Rodney Hampton-El. Wahhaj described Hampton-El as being "one of the most respected brothers [of his congregation]."
Given all of this information (and much that did not make it into this article), why would the Marriott permit this event to take place?
Part 3: An American Wake-Up Call
Terrorism, as a worldwide epidemic, is a recent phenomenon. Because of this fact, many are unsure about how to handle the subject. In the case of the Marriott, its leadership has dealt with it by attempting to placate the enemy, and thereby, at least in the Marriot's eyes, avoid the potential for conflict.
The Marriott rejects the People's Truth Forum, due to the hotel chain's belief that the counter-terror group is "too controversial" -- that if it allows the group to use its facilities on the Georgetown campus, young Muslims may riot and cause injury and destruction, as they recently did in France. Yet at the same time the Marriott has opened its arms to a group and an individual that are connected to terrorism and violence!
What does this say about our current state of affairs, when one of the largest American corporations -- out of fear of the unknown -- is willing to silence an ally and give voice to the enemy? It says that we, as a nation, are on a dangerous path that only starts with appeasement. It ends with our destruction. If the Marriott is a test case for the future consciousness of America, then we can be assured that we will have no future.
On August 5, 2003, a Marriott located in Jakarta, Indonesia, was the target of a monstrous explosion set off via a car bomb. 14 people were killed and nearly 150 injured, including two Americans. The terrorist that took his life, in order to achieve his goal, didn't care about whether or not his sensibilities were being tended to. The only thing he cared about was taking innocent lives with him.
To what degree has our nation been compromised?
December 4 , 2005
For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Kaufman (email@example.com)
MARRIOTT RACKED BY TERRORIST ATTACKS
AAH QUESTIONS WHY HOTEL WOULD SNUB COUNTER-TERROR GROUP AND WELCOME ALLEGED TERROR FRONT
(Coral Springs, FL) Since the Al-Qaeda operation targeting America in September of 2001, the Marriott Corporation has been greatly affected by radical Islamic terrorism.
The affects include:
- September 10, 2001 - Three of the 9/11 attackers spent the night at the Marriott Residence Inn in Herndon, Virginia, only to guide a plane into the Pentagon the following day. The three attackers included Hami Hanjour and Nawaf al-Hazmi.
- September 11, 2001 - The New York Marriott World Trade Center hotel was destroyed and the 504-room Marriott Financial Center was severely damaged, during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Two Marriott hotel managers were killed.
- June 14, 2002 - The Marriott Hotel in Karachi, Pakistan had its windows blown out, as a car bomb went off on the main road near the hotel and the U.S. Consulate. Eleven people were killed in the attack, and 51 were injured, including an American.
- August 5, 2003 - The Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia was the target of a suicide car bomb attack. CBS News described it as a "bloody inferno." 14 people were killed, and nearly 150 were injured, including two Americans.
- October 28, 2004 - The Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan suffered extensive damage to its lobby, as a bomb went off inside the hotel. 15 people were injured in the attack, including an American diplomat.
After all of these atrocities, the Marriott had decided to allow the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) -- a group that has had numerous officials connected to terrorist activity -- to host their annual banquet in one of its hotels. They also allowed an individual to speak at the event, who had been called, by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, a potential unindicted coconspirator in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. The banquet took place yesterday, December 3rd, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.
To compound the situation, the Marriott had condoned the rejection by one of its hotels -- the Marriott Georgetown University Conference Hotel -- of a counter-terror group, the People's Truth Forum, from holding a symposium at the hotel. One of the reasons the Marriott gave for this was that it was "based upon business considerations."
Joe Kaufman, the Chairman of Americans Against Hate, stated, "We do not understand how a hotel chain that has gone through so much, with regard to the horrors of terrorism, could embrace a group that has had so many noted ties to terrorism and an individual that was allegedly tied to a terrorist bombing. This, while rejecting an organization that is actively working to fight terrorism! We understand the bottom line, but with all that the Marriott has suffered, doesn't this subject warrant just doing the right thing? We call on the Marriott to never allow any group or individual that has even borderline connections to terrorism into one of its hotels again."
Joe Kaufman is available for interview. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sleeping with the enemy
at the Marriott
By Joe Kaufman
December 3, 2005
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com
The Georgetown Marriott Conference Center rejected a "terrorism" symposium on the grounds that the sponsoring organization was too controversial and the venue inappropriate for this type of forum. Concurrently, another Marriott Hotel in the Washington area is hosting the Council on American- Islamic Relations' annual conference – and participating as a panelist at the gala will be an alleged coconspirator of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
According to the Georgetown Marriott executives, the decision to reject the event, being hosted by the People's Truth Forum, or PTF, was based upon business considerations: "The event would call for heightened security since protesters might be attracted from both the student body and off campus. These same protesters might block the front entrance leading to confrontations with hotel guests and/or room cancellations."
After researching the matter, the Marriott's corporate office supported the local decision and issued the following statement: "Due to the high density of Muslim students on campus, we're afraid of the potential for violent protests, injured employees and damage to the facility."
According to PTF's president, Jeffrey Epstein, "The People's Truth Forum, a fact-based, non-partisan organization, is dedicated to educating Americans on topics of national security. Controversy and resistance is nothing new to us given our commitment to disseminating 'unpopular' truths."
Epstein added: "Although I don't harbor ill feelings toward the Marriott Corporation for their weak-kneed 'business' decision pertaining to the Georgetown property, I am deeply troubled by the realization that a major American corporation could fear reprisal from enemy sympathizers, within our borders, during a time of war. This situation certainly begs the question as to what degree our national security has already been compromised."
Today, CAIR will host its 11th Annual Banquet at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.
CAIR is a self-proclaimed Muslim advocacy group that has its roots in the Palestinian Hamas. CAIR's parent organization, the Islamic Association for Palestine, was founded by Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook. CAIR, itself, has had numerous individuals convicted in and/or deported by the United States for terrorist activity. And CAIR is the defendant in a lawsuit put forward by the family of a lead FBI agent for that agent's murder during the September 11 attacks.
CAIR has advertised on its website that it will be featuring Siraj Wahhaj as one of the speakers at the banquet. Wahhaj, an imam at the At-Taqwa Mosque in Brooklyn, N.Y., is known for having his name on the U.S. attorney's list of potential coconspirators of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Two of the individuals convicted in the bomb plot, Omar Abdel Rahman (the leader of the conspiracy) and Clement Rodney Hampton-El (an expert bomb maker), worshipped at Wahhaj's mosque. Wahhaj was also a character witness for Abdel Rahman at the 1995 trial against him.
What does this say about our current state of affairs, when one of the largest American corporations is willing to silence an ally and give voice to the enemy? It says that we, as a nation, are on a dangerous path that only starts with appeasement, yet ends in our destruction. If the Marriott is a test case for the future consciousness of America, then we can be assured that we will have no future.
Joe Kaufman is the chairman of Americans Against Hate and the host of the "Politics of Terrorism" radio show.