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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > New generation of homegrown radical Islamists -Houston born Muslim Omar Abu Ali charged with plot to kill Bush

New generation of homegrown radical Islamists -Houston born Muslim Omar Abu Ali charged with plot to kill Bush

MAS and CAIR write letters to Bush & Powell demanding release of Ali - US prosecutors say claims of Saudi 'torture' false
February 22, 2005

http://www.amana-publications.com/1997_books.shtml

MIM:The arrest of a 23 year old American born and educated Muslim Omar Abu Ali, who was detained in Saudi Arabia for planning to kill president Bush, is a disturbing indication that American may be dealing with a new generation of home grown radical Islamists.

The show of support which Ali received from Muslim organisations in America who protested his arrest as 'anti Muslim discrimination' and are campaigning for his release reveals the radical Islamist agenda of a fifth column of Muslim groups in America who are operating under the guise of civil rights organisations. Even more brazen is the fact that the head of the Muslim American Society, Mahdi Bray wrote a letter to president Bush demanding his would be assassin's release demanding that he " return one of their native sons to the soil of the United States".

CAIR director Omar Ahmad wrote a letter to then Secretary of State Powell demanding his "immediate release. (see letters below).

The Council of American Islamic Relations was named as a defendent in a 9/11 terrorism lawsuit and 3 of their ex employees are currently in jail on terrorism and fraud charges.

The director of the radical Islamist Muslim American Society Mahdi Bray said that he met Ali at the Dar Al Hijrah mosque and described him as a "moderate" . Ali also attended the Islamic Saudi Academy which was raided by law enforcement in 2003 for ties to Al Qaeda funding.

Bray also stated that "Ali was comfortable in American cuture ". It should also be noted that a week before the 9/11 attacks, one of the hijackers held a party for neighborhood children in his Vero Beach Florida before sending his wife and children back to Saudi Arabia. They served 'Happy meals' and the wife explained that 'they wanted to leave behind good memories'.

"...Abu Ali's relatives and friends described him as a quiet student who grew up in Texas and Falls Church, Va. They said he was comfortable in American culture.

"He was a really great kid, moderate in his views and not an extremist," said Mahdi Bray, executive director of the Muslim American Society.

Bray said he got to know Abu Ali at the mosque at the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church. He said Abu Ali was a valedictorian at the Islamic Saudi Academy, a bilingual school in Alexandria. (see complete article below).

Abu Ali also was charged with receiving training in weapons and document forgery..."

Bray wrote in his 2004 letter to President Bush that:

" I am still greatly troubled and concerned about the manner in which our government has dealt with Abu Ali and his family."Nothing short of his release and return to his family is acceptable to us..." (see below)

MAS/ICNA is linked to Al Qaeda and openly states that their goal is the Islamisation of the United States -which they want to literally turn into "A Muslim American Society". The MAS/ICNA Muslim Youth group ran Jihad and Afterlife camps and trips to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan .

Qatar based cleric Yusuf Qaradawi a trustee of MAS's Islamic American University issued a fatwa which stated that Muslim women also had a religous duty to become suicide bombers.

See : MAS /ICNA -Muslim American Subversives and Islamic Conspirators of North America aim for a United States of Allah http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/216

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http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1401685,00.html

Man charged for 'Bush death plot'

Ahmed Omar Abu Ali Mr Abu Ali said he was tortured during detention in Saudi Arabia
A US citizen formerly detained in Saudi Arabia has been charged with conspiring to assassinate President Bush.

An indictment read out in a US district court in the state of Virginia said Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, 23, had discussed two scenarios with a co-conspirator.

It was proposed that Mr Abu Ali would shoot Mr Bush on the street or detonate a car bomb, the indictment said.

The alleged conspirator told the court he had been tortured during his detention, which began in June 2003.

'Handcuffed for days'

Mr Abu Ali, who was making his first appearance at the court, did not enter a plea.

He offered via his lawyer to show the judge scars he had apparently received.

"He has the evidence on his back," Ashraf Nubani told the court, quoted by the Associated Press news agency. "He was whipped. He was handcuffed for days at a time."

He was charged with five other counts involving links to terrorism and the al-Qaeda network.

Federal prosecutors say Mr Abu Ali, who was born in Houston, joined an al-Qaeda cell in Saudi Arabia 2001 and the plot was discussed while he was studying there.

He is said to have received religious blessing for the plot.

His departure from Saudi Arabia had not been publicly disclosed before his court appearance.

The White House has made no comment on the charges.

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MIM: The latest information on Abu Ali's Al Qaida contacts from Evan Kohlmann's "Counterterrorism Blog" . Kohlmann is a researcher at Steven Emerson's 'Investigative Project'.

For more information about this story and terrorism cases world wide go to the CB website at: http://counterterror.typepad.com/the_counterterrorism_blog/2005/02/clues_to_abu_al.html

Clues to Abu Ali's Al-Qaida Contacts in Saudi Arabia

The latest USDOJ filing in the case of Ahmed Omar Abu Ali offers tantalizing clues as to the alleged identity of his Al-Qaida contacts in Saudi Arabia. According to the document:

"Between in or around September 2002 and on or about June 9, 2003, the defendant joined a clandestine al-Qaeda cell in Saudi Arabia... The defendant discussed plans for assassinating President of the United States George W. Bush with a member of the al-Qaeda cell (identified in the Indictment as Coconspirator #2). Specifically, the defendant and Coconspirator #2 discussed two options for assassinating the President: (1) an operation in which the defendant would get close enough to the President to shoot him on the street; and (2) an operation in which the defendant would detonate a car bomb... The government proffers that Coconspirator #2 later was killed in a shoot-out with Saudi law enforcement authorities in or around September 2003."

This last detail narrows the field considerably as to the identity of Co-Conspirator #2. That September, there was only one shoot-out of note between Saudi security forces and Al-Qaida members wanted for their involvement in the May 2003 suicide bombings in Riyadh...

On September 23, 2003, Saudi forces attempted to raid the three-story housing complex of the King Fahd Hospital in Jizan (600 miles south of Riyadh) on the suspicion that it was being used as a base to plan upcoming Al-Qaida terrorist attacks in the Kingdom. During the ensuing shootout, one Saudi policeman and three Al-Qaida militants were killed, including Zubayr al-Rimi (a.k.a. Sultan Jubran Sultan al-Qahtani). At the time, al-Rimi was among Saudi Arabia's most wanted terrorist suspects and had served as a key lieutenant to other senior Al-Qaida operatives in the region. Moreover, only days before his violent death in Jizan, the FBI had sent out a specific alert to state and local law enforcement about Zubayr al-Rimi, warning that he was wanted "in connection with possible threats against the United States." In retrospect, it seems likely that Rimi's "possible threat against the United States" was a would-be plot to assassinate President George W. Bush with the assistance of Ahmed Omar Abu Ali.

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http://www.lex18.com/Global/story.asp?S=2990400

US prosecutors: Man accused in plot to kill president was not tortured

WASHINGTON Federal prosecutors are rejecting a Virginia man's claims he was tortured in Saudi Arabia before being returned to the U-S and charged with plotting to kill President Bush.

Yesterday, Ahmed Abu Ali offered to display scars on his back. But an American doctor says he found "no evidence of physical mistreatment" anywhere on his body. Two of his lawyers say they've seen what look like whip marks on his back.

Court documents say Abu Ali, a U-S citizen, had several meetings in Saudi Arabia with an American diplomat during his 20 months of detention there and never complained about his treatment. He was flown to Virginia yesterday.

A hearing will be held Tuesday on whether to hold him until his trial. Another hearing is set on his family's federal lawsuit seeking information about his treatment.

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US. says American citizen a 'grave danger'

Ahmed Omar Abu Ali charged after Saudi Arabia detention


http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/02/23/saudi.american/

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (CNN) -- An American citizen handed over by Saudi Arabia should remain in custody because "he presents an exceptionally grave danger to the community and a serious flight risk," the lead prosecutor said in court papers filed Wednesday.

U.S. Attorney Paul McNulty filed his motion ahead of a detention hearing for 23-year-old Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, an alleged al Qaeda member. Abu Ali was detained for 20 months in Saudi Arabia before being transferred to U.S. custody this week.

Abu Ali is charged with providing material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization -- al Qaeda. Prosecutors also allege he discussed the possibility of assassinating President Bush.

The detention hearing will be held Thursday afternoon at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Abu Ali is said to be a flight risk because of his extensive overseas contacts, the charges he faces and his Jordanian citizenship, according to McNulty's filing -- much of which echoed Tuesday's indictment. (Full story)

"He is demonstrably a grave danger to the community -- and to the nation," the prosecutor wrote. "At the same time, he presents a serious risk of flight. There is no condition or combination of conditions that will adequately safeguard the American people or assure the defendant's appearance for trial."

Abu Ali was arrested after the May 2003 bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in which 23 people were killed, including nine Americans. Sources familiar with the case have said Abu Ali is suspected of having connections to individuals involved in that bombing.

His case generated controversy after Abu Ali's family filed a lawsuit last year charging that U.S. authorities had asked for his arrest. U.S. officials have denied that assertion.

Abu Ali was transferred to the United States on Monday and charged the next day. He faces a maximum of 80 years in prison if convicted.

According to McNulty, Abu Ali was a member of a secret al Qaeda cell within Saudi Arabia from around September 2002 to about June 2003.

McNulty said Abu Ali discussed with a co-conspirator two ways of killing President Bush: "an operation in which the defendant would get close enough to the president to shoot him on the street; and an operation in which the defendant would detonate a car bomb."

"The defendant obtained a religious blessing to conduct the assassination of President Bush from a Saudi cleric," McNulty wrote. "In joining al Qaeda, it was the defendant's intent to become a planner of terrorist operations."

McNulty also dismissed accusations by Abu Ali that he was tortured while detained in Saudi Arabia. The prosecutor said such accusations are irrelevant for the detention hearing, and added, there is "no credible evidence to support those claims."

McNulty said that when Abu Ali was visited by U.S. officials in Saudi Arabia in July 2003, he "used the words 'excellent,' 'kind' and 'humane' to describe his treatment."

Edward MacMahon, an attorney for Abu Ali's family, said Tuesday: "Abu Ali intends to plead not guilty to all of these charges. He expects to have a fair trial at which he will be vindicated."

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MIM: This from the Jawa Report shows how the blogosphere can be a source of more reliable news then the politically correct mainstream press. (Photo shows Ali's parents Faten and Omar Abu )

http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/068759.php

The Muslim Brotherhood Connection to Bush Assassination Plot

omarfatenali.jpgDid Omar and Faten Ali and know of their sons jihadism?

The jihadi connection only gets deeper. From this NY Times article (ht: Katherine) we learn that Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, the man indicted on charges of working with al Qaeda to plot the assassination of the President of the US, taught Islamic studies to children at the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center while still in high school. According to the Washington Post, the Center has been a gathering place for Islamist and jihadi activity in the US.

Two of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers worshiped at the mosque and several of the group's founders were active in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. It is no surprise that the Muslim American Society pushed for Ahmed Abu Ali's release and its members showed up in force to laugh at the judge during Ali's indictment. The Muslim American Society is also associated withe the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood is the original al Qaeda. Al-Ikhwan, as it is known in Arabic was started in 1928 as an Islamist organization with the goal of seeting up the world-wide Islamic state. The radical goals of the Muslim Brotherhood and the political teachings of its founder were the inspiration behind Ossama bin Laden's al Qaeda organization.

Are we to believe that Mr. Omar Abu Ali was not aware of the Salafiyya dogma being taught at the Mosque he attended? A dogma which calls for the introduction of sharia law into the Muslim world? A dogma which calls for violent jihad against regimes in the Middle East?

And is it just a coincidence that Faten Ali, [pictured above] hides behind a veil?

Please!

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Dr.Daniel Pipes commented on the media coverage of the story of Abu Ali in his most recent blog and on the 'politically correct' headlines: http://www.danielpipes.org/

"... Here are three examples.

Chicago Tribune: "U.S. citizen charged with plot to kill Bush"
The Guardian: "American accused of plotting with al-Qaida to assassinate Bush"
The New York Times: "American Accused in a Plot to Assassinate Bush."

And then there is this gem:

Detroit Free Press: "Valedictorian suspect in plot on Bush's life."

"... Yet again, over-sensitivity to Muslim sentiments obstructs the plain telling of facts as though Abu Ali's citizenship or class rank were the key factor in motivating him. A useful headline would read something like "Islamist Charged in Plot to Assassinate Bush..." (February 23, 2005)

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MIM: Some foreign papers felt less constrained by PC then the US media and one British paper carried the the headline "Arab American arrested in plot to kill Bush"

---------------------------------------------

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/world/10966235.htm

FRANK DAVIES Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON A former high school valedictorian was accused Tuesday of plotting to assassinate President Bush and trying to set up an al-Qaida terrorist cell in the United States.

Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, 23, made a brief appearance in federal court in Alexandria, Va., and his attorney, Edward MacMahon, said after the hearing that he would plead not guilty.

Abu Ali was transferred to the United States this week from Saudi Arabia, where he had been held without charges since June 2003.

A 16-page indictment alleged that Abu Ali, while a university student in Saudi Arabia in 2002 and 2003, discussed with unidentified al-Qaida operatives plans to kill Bush and "conduct a terrorist operation in the United States."

Abu Ali and the others discussed two scenarios: "to get close enough to the president to shoot him on the street" or an attack "in which Abu Ali would detonate a car bomb," the indictment said.

Abu Ali, through his attorney, said he had been tortured during his 20 months in Saudi Arabia and offered to show U.S. Magistrate Judge Liam O'Grady wounds on his back from whippings.

O'Grady said he might be able to do that at a hearing Thursday.

"I can assure you, you will not suffer any torture or humiliation while in the marshals' custody," O'Grady said.

Saudi and U.S. officials denied the torture allegations.

Justice Department and Secret Service officials wouldn't say whether any progress was made in the alleged plot. It was cited as an element in one of the six counts against Abu Ali, but he wasn't specifically charged with attempting to assassinate Bush, said Bryan Sierra, a Justice Department spokesman.

U.S. officials said the Abu Ali case showed al-Qaida's continuing drive to strike the United States. The indictment said Abu Ali, a U.S. citizen, intended to become a key planner much like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, an organizer of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

"After the devastating terrorist attack and murders of September 11, the defendant turned his back on America and joined the cause of al-Qaida," U.S. Attorney Paul McNulty said. "He now stands charged with some of the most serious offenses our nation can bring."

Sierra said Abu Ali was transferred from Saudi Arabia to the United States "after Saudi officials informed us they would not be charging him."

In addition, Abu Ali's family filed a lawsuit last year in federal court seeking his return.

Justice Department lawyers argued in December that Abu Ali should have no access to U.S. courts and that the lawsuit should be dismissed. But U.S. District Judge John Bates said there was circumstantial evidence that the United States orchestrated his capture and that Abu Ali "has been tortured with the knowledge of the United States."

A spokesman for the Saudi Embassy, Nail al Jubeir, called the torture allegation "baseless."

Al Jubeir didn't say why Abu Ali wasn't charged in Saudi Arabia or why he was returned to the United States.

Abu Ali's relatives and friends described him as a quiet student who grew up in Texas and Falls Church, Va. They said he was comfortable in American culture.

"He was a really great kid, moderate in his views and not an extremist," said Mahdi Bray, executive director of the Muslim American Society.

Bray said he got to know Abu Ali at the mosque at the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church. He said Abu Ali was a valedictorian at the Islamic Saudi Academy, a bilingual school in Alexandria.

Abu Ali also was charged with receiving training in weapons and document forgery.

He was arrested in 2003 with about 18 other men one month after al-Qaida attacked residential compounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, killing 25 persons.

Daniel Byman, a terrorism expert, said those attacks were "a real turning point in U.S.-Saudi cooperation" and helped convince the Saudis that they needed to crack down on al-Qaida.

If convicted on all counts, Abu Ali could be sent to prison for as long as 80 years.


At a glance

A Virginia man is accused of plotting to kill President Bush and set up an al-Qaida cell in America.

Ahmed Omar Abu Ali had been arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2003, but he was sent to the United States only this week.

------------------------------------------------------

http://jihadwatch.org/

ALEXANDRIA, Va. A former Virginia high school valedictorian who had been detained in Saudi Arabia as a suspected terrorist was charged Tuesday with conspiring to assassinate President Bush and with supporting the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, 23, a U.S. citizen, made an initial appearance Tuesday in U.S. District Court but did not enter a plea. He claimed that he was tortured while detained in Saudi Arabia since June of 2003 and offered through his lawyer to show the judge his scars.

The federal indictment said that in 2002 and 2003 Abu Ali and an unidentified co-conspirator discussed plans for Abu Ali to assassinate Bush. They discussed two scenarios, the indictment said, one in which Abu Ali "would get close enough to the president to shoot him on the street" and, alternatively, "an operation in which Abu Ali would detonate a car bomb."

According to the indictment, Abu Ali obtained a religious blessing from another unidentified co-conspirator to assassinate the president..

More than 100 supporters of Abu Ali crowded the courtroom and laughed when the charge was read aloud alleging that he conspired to assassinate Bush.

When Abu Ali asked to speak, U.S. Magistrate Liam O'Grady suggested he consult with his attorney, Ashraf Nubani.

"He was tortured," Nubani told the court. "He has the evidence on his back. He was whipped. He was handcuffed for days at a time."

--------------------------

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- An American detained in Saudi Arabia for 20 months without being charged is being sent back to the United States where he is expected to be charged Tuesday, his father and a family friend told CNN....

Abu Ali's family said it has been told he will face unspecified charges in federal court. He is expected to make an appearance in U.S. District Court sometime Tuesday....

The father said his son is not guilty of any crimes. Regarding the unspecified charge expected to be filed in the United States, the father said, "They are lying. He is innocent."

Abu Ali was arrested after the May 2003 bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which killed 23 people, including nine Americans.

Sources familiar with the case have said Abu Ali is suspected of having connections to individuals involved in that bombing. A federal grand jury has been hearing evidence regarding the case.

Federal prosecutors have previously alleged Abu Ali had a relationship with some members of what has been called the "Virginia jihad network," whose members were charged with providing material support to a terrorist organization.

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MIM: The head of MAS wrote a letter to President Bush demanding that he release his would be assassin .

Muslim groups in America like the Muslim American Society are exhorting their members to come out and show support for Ali. They are posting bulletins on their site and urging Muslims to attend the arraignment and court hearings.

Note that the MAS has cynically chosen the name "Freedom Foundation" as a cover for it's efforts to aid their fellow radical Islamists.

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MIM: The MAS letter to President Bush

http://www.mascolumbus.org/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=160

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

..: MAS Freedom Foundation :..

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500

June 21, 2004

Dear Mr. President:

I'm writing you on behalf of Ahmed Abu-Ali, his family, and the American Muslim community. Ahmed Abu-Ali is an American born citizen who has languished in prison in Saudi Arabia for over a year without charges.

Mr. Abu-Ali, an American high school valedictorian, decided in August of 2002 to study at the Medinah University in Saudi Arabia. On June 11, 2003 at the behest of our U.S. government Saudi Security officers stormed into the university exam room and arrested Ahmed while he was in the midst of taking a final exam.

Our concerns involving this case are as follows:

That Mr. Abu-Ali is a U.S. Citizen who has been detained by a foreign government for over a year without any charges and that subsequent detention was requested by our Government.

That there are strong allegations that Mr. Abu-Ali has been physically and psychologically tortured while in custody.

That despite the claim by Federal law enforcement that there is no Government interest in Mr. Abu-Ali's detention, and numerous requests to members of the Justice Department and the State Department for U.S. intervention assuring his release, Mr. Abu-Ali is still in a Saudi prison.

That Saudi officials have indicated in writing that they have no reason to hold Mr. Abu-Ali and that they are ready to release him pending a formal request from the U.S. Government.


That Mr. Mathew P. Gillen, Director of Consular Affairs in Saudi Arabia, indicated in a May 14, 2004 meeting that he would send a written request to the American ambassador to Saudi Arabia for his approval authorizing the release of Mr. Abu-Ali from Saudi Arabia and his return to the United States. To date, no letter has been issued.

That since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, American Muslims continue to face undue hardship and harm often resultant of an attitude of guilt by association and the all to callous rush to judgment.

Mr. President, there is no doubt that the American Muslim community and all Americans are resolve to combating the scourge of terrorism. However, issues involving allegation of our government's support for torture, sending individuals to third countries to face torture, and cases like the American Muslim attorney Brandon Mayfield who was wrongly detained as a material witness, certainly raises serious concerns on how the war against terrorism is being waged and its juxtaposition against the rights of Muslims and the civil and human rights of all Americans.

Mr. President, the case of Mr. Ahmed Abu-Ali is a stain on the fabric of America's commitment to human rights due process and justice. We respectfully request that your office intervenes with all deliberate speed to return one of America's native sons to the soil of the United States
of America.


Respectfully,

Mahdi Bray

Executive Director

--------------------------------------------------------

MIM: The mission statement of MAS openly states that they are "an Islamic revival movement" which means they believe that Muslims are Islamically obligated to turn the US into an Islamic country by any means.

http://www.masnet.org/aboutmas.asp

What is MAS?

The Muslim American Society (MAS) is a charitable, religious, social, cultural, and educational, not-for-profit organization. It is a pioneering Islamic organization, an Islamic revival, and reform movement that uplifts the individual, family, and society.

When and where it all started?

The Muslim American Society (MAS) traces its historical roots back to the call of the Prophet Muhammad ( Peace be upon him). Its more recent roots, however, can be traced to the Islamic revival movement which evolved at the turn of the twentieth century.

This movement brought the call of Islam to Muslims throughout the globe to reestablish Islam as a total way of life. The call and the spirit of the movement reached the shores of North America with arrival of Muslim students and immigrants in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

These early pioneers and Islamic movement followers established in 1963 the Muslim Student Association (MSA) of the U.S and Canada as a rallying point in their endeavor to serve Islam and Muslims in North America. Other services and outreach organizations soon followed, such as the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), the Islamic Medical Association (IMA), the Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA) and the Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA), to name a few.

Twenty years later, Islamic movement followers and sympathizers in North America launched the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) as an outgrowth of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) to serve the needs of the ever-growing number of indigenous and immigrant Muslims who had opted to reside permanently in North America.

Since its inception, ISNA, and other organizations affiliated with it, worked diligently with those who were to become the founding members and future leadership of MAS, towards the advancement of the cause of Islam and Muslims in North America.

Mindful of the dynamic changes that are taking place within the Muslim community and its surroundings, and keeping an eye on the future, a number of Islamic workers and Islamic movement followers decided in 1992, after a painstaking measured and tedious process of soul-searching and consultation, to launch the Muslim American Society (MAS) in order to complement the work accomplished over the last three decades, and to lay the ground for the Islamic effort needed to face the next century's challenges.

Objectives

  • To present the message of Islam to Muslims and non-Muslims, and promote understanding between them,
  • To encourage the participation of Muslims in building a virtuous and moral society,
  • To offer a viable Islamic alternative to many of our society's prevailing problems,
  • To promote family values in accordance with Islamic teaching,
  • To promote the human values that Islam emphasizes: brotherhood, equality, justice, mercy, compassion, and peace, and
  • To foster unity among Muslims and Muslim organizations and encourage cooperation and coordination amongst them.

Contact Information:

P.O. Box 1896

Falls Church, VA 22041

Telephone: (703) 998-6525

FAX: (703) 998-6526

Electronic mail:

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Further information on the MAS letter.

A letter by CAIR in support of Abu Ali, addressed to former Secretary of State Powell is below.

AMP Report

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2004- A US Muslim group today protested the detention of a US national who has been held in Saudi Arabia for more than a year, saying he had been jailed at Washington's request and could be tortured.

Dozens of people took part in the Muslim American Society's demonstration in front of the State Department and sent letters to President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell to explain their concern for Ahmed Abu-Ali, 23, who was born in the United States and is an American citizen.

The group said in a statement that, according to Saudi officials, Abu-Ali was being held at US authorities' request, without formal charges.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters that Washington was aware of the detention and indicated that US consular officials in Riyadh made regular visits to the prisoner.

Ahmed-Abu Ali, 23, a U.S. citizen who grew up in Falls Church and enrolled at a Saudi university, has been imprisoned since June 11, 2003. Although an FBI agent testified later last year that Abu Ali had links to the defendants in the so-called Virginia jihad network, no public charges have been filed against him, and Saudi and U.S. authorities have not offered any explanation for his detention.

Last week, an FBI official told members of the Falls Church mosque where Abu Ali worshipped that he did not know why the student was still in jail.

Ahmed-Abu Ali's family, which gave interviews last fall about the case, has argued that he should be brought home to face trial in a U.S. court if he has done something wrong. Yet the family has been told repeatedly by FBI agents and federal prosecutors that they have no reason to file charges against him, his sister said.

On June 11, 2004, Muslim American Society Freedom sent letters to President George W. Bush, the Secretary of State Colin Powell, and 91 members of Congress calling for the immediate and safe release of Abu-Ali.

The MAS letter, among other things, said:

  • That Mr. Abu-Ali is a U.S. Citizen who has been detained by a foreign government for over a year without any charges and that subsequent detention was requested by our Government.
  • That there are strong allegations that Mr. Abu-Ali has been physically and psychologically tortured while in custody.
  • That despite the claim by Federal law enforcement that there is no Government interest in Mr. Abu-Ali's detention, and numerous requests to members of the Justice Department and the State Department for U.S. intervention assuring his release, Mr. Abu-Ali is still in a Saudi prison.
  • That Saudi officials have indicated in writing that they have no reason to hold Mr. Abu-Ali and that they are ready to release him pending a formal request from the U.S. Government.
  • That Mr. Mathew P. Gillen, Director of Consular Affairs in Saudi Arabia, indicated in a May 14, 2004 meeting that he would send a written request to the American ambassador to Saudi Arabia for his approval authorizing the release of Mr. Abu-Ali from Saudi Arabia and his return to the United States.
  • According to MAS Freedom Executive Director Mahdi Bray, "When we look at Abu Gharib, the possible presidential memo on torture, individuals sent by the U.S. to third countries for torture, the wrongful detention of American Muslim attorney Brandon Mayfield and what has happened to Ahmed Abu-Ali, we must question with the utmost seriousness how our government is waging this war on terrorism. We must resist with every fiber of our being a war on terrorism waged at the expense of the life and liberty of the Muslim community. If we fail to do so, this guilt by association, hysteria and rush to judgment impacting our community will be a huge dark stain on the fabric of America's commitment to human rights, due process and justice."
  • -----------------------------------------------------------
  • MIM: CAIR letter in support of Abu Ali
  • Letter delivered to State Department

    Meanwhile, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad today delivered the following letter to State Department officials following a meeting with Secretary of State Powell:

  • ------------------------------------

    Honorable Colin L. Powell
    Secretary of State
    United States Department of State
    2201 C St., NW, Washington, DC 20520

    June 17, 2004

    Dear Secretary Powell:

    Thank you for meeting with us today at the State Department. I appreciate the opportunity.

    I am writing to you on behalf of America's largest Muslim advocacy and civil rights organization with regard to the case of Ahmed Abu Ali, an American citizen held in Saudi Arabia. I hope to secure your intervention in this case in order to obtain the immediate release of Ahmed, who has been held in al-Ha'ir prison in Riyadh for nearly a year without charge and without access to a lawyer.

    As you may know, Ahmed, 22, was arrested by Saudi authorities on June 11, 2003, while taking one of his final exams at Medina University, where he was studying on a scholarship. According to his family, Ahmed was interrogated by Saudi police and the FBI extensively in the past year. According to the U.S. consul visiting Ahmed, at one point the FBI threatened to designate him an "enemy combatant".

    Matthew Gillen, Director of Consular Affairs in Saudi Arabia at the State Department, recently agreed to meet with Ahmed's family, two lawyers, and a small delegation from CAIR. Mr. Gillen confirmed that Ahmed has not been charged by Saudi Arabia or the U.S., and that Saudi authorities are no longer investigating him. At the same time, it was relayed to the family's former lawyer that the FBI is no longer investigating Ahmed and does not have any plans to charge him if he is released by Saudi authorities.

    Mr. Gillen shared an email sent to him by Mr. Glatz, the U.S. Consul appointed to Ahmed's case, which stated the following, "SBU Col Al-Qahtani commented to Conoff that he understood that Abu-Ali could be rendered to American authorities at anytime if the USG made a formal request. He added that he understood that if Abu-Ali were deported from Saudi Arabia he would not want to return to the U.S. but has been thinking of traveling to Sweden." When asked whether the State Department would send a "formal request" to Saudi Authorities, Mr. Gillen responded that he will be filing a letter of protest that will go through your good office in Saudi Arabia to the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When Ahmed's family asked him whether he wanted to travel to Sweden, Ahmed told them that he had never said such a thing.

    Ahmed Abu Ali has not been afforded his due process rights as a U.S. citizen. He has not been charged with a crime, permitted to see a lawyer, or given a trial. He has been in detention for almost a year. Ahmed now refuses to see his consular officer, Mr. Glatz, because he has lost all faith in him to ensure his rights and safety. According to Mr. Gillen, a new consular officer cannot be provided for Ahmed. We hope this is not the case.

    The State Department's role is to monitor the health and well-being of a detainee, acknowledge and stop mistreatment, provide a list of attorneys, and generally maintain due process. Unfortunately, it has been unreliable on all these fronts. When Ahmed was first arrested, the family's unrelenting requests to the agency to send a consul to check on Ahmed's conditions were ignored until a lawyer threatened to sue the State Department for failure to ensure the safety and protection of a U.S. citizen abroad. It took a month after his arrest for a U.S. consul to visit Ahmed.

    The family's own investigation showed that Ahmed experienced various forms of mistreatment during this time. In the past year, Ahmed informed his parents that he had lost a tremendous amount of weight and considered going on a hunger strike. When Ahmed's family brought up these concerns to the U.S. Embassy, they were automatically dismissed. Indeed, there are troubling parallels between Ahmed's case and the case of Maher Arrar, the Canadian citizen who was deported to Syria and is now suing the Canadian and U.S. government for allegedly subjecting him to torture. All that Ahmed's family desires is their son's safe return.

    I strongly urge you to intervene in securing the immediate release of Ahmed. In the interest of preserving human rights, ensuring justice, and maintaining good diplomatic relations, we trust you will find a positive resolution to this case.

    I look forward to hearing from you on this important and timely matter.

    Sincerely yours,

    Nihad Awad
    National Executive Director

    Source: CAIR/MAS/Media reports

    http://www.archives2004.ghazali.net/html/mass_protest.html


  • ---------------------------------------------------------------

  • http://www.mas.org

    In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

    <<February 22, 2004 ALERT>>

    SPECIAL BULLETIN

    Abu Ali Returned to the United States

    Ahmed Abu-Ali's family and MAS Freedom Foundation have been informed by the United States government that Abu-Ali has returned to the U.S. and will appear Tuesday, February 22, 2005 before a magistrate at the Eastern District 4th Circuit Federal Courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia at 9:00 AM.

    The Freedom Foundation will post any new developments concerning Abu-Ali on its website immediately.

    MAS FREEDOM FOUNDATION URGES EVERYONE TO ATTEND THE ARRAINGMENT.

    "We're deeply grateful to the Almighty for the return of Abu-Ali the United States of America," said Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation Executive Director Mahdi Bray. "However, I am still greatly troubled and concerned about the manner in which our government has dealt with Abu Ali and his family.

    "Nothing short of his release and return to his family is acceptable to us," stated Bray.

    The Freedom Foundation is the public affairs arm of the Muslim American Society (MAS), a national grassroots religious, social, and educational organization. MAS is America's largest grassroots Muslim organization with over 50 chapters nationwide. Learn more at www.masnet.org. Support our work at MAS Freedom Foundation.

    ____________________________________________

    MAS Freedom Foundation

    1050 17th Street NW #600

    Washington, DC 20036

    Tel: (202) 496-1288

    Fax: (202) 463-0686

    URL: http://www.masnet.org/index_publicaffairs.asp

    Email: freedom@masnet.org

    ----------------

    The Abu Ali Case and] Balancing Liberties, Security

    by Daniel Pipes
    New York Sun
    March 1, 2005

    For a free people in the age of terrorism, what is the proper balance between civil liberties and national security?

    This debate wracks every Western country. Looking at America, the "united we stand" solidarity that followed September 11, 2001, lasted just some months, after which a much deeper divide emerged as conservatives proved far more profoundly affected by the atrocities than did liberals. The result has been the growing political acrimony of the past three years.

    Many examples illustrate this divide. For the most recent, take the argument concerning Ahmed Omar Abu Ali between the conservative Bush administration and its mostly liberal critics.

    Born in America to immigrant Jordanian parents, Mr. Abu Ali, 23, was indicted last week for plotting the assassination of President Bush. The prosecution asserts he was in touch with Al Qaeda and in 2002 discussed ideas of eliminating Mr. Bush by getting "close enough to the president to shoot him on the street," or by deploying a car bomb. Mr. Abu Ali's biography indicates how he might have ended up as an Al Qaeda operative.

    He attended the Islamic Saudi Academy in Alexandria, Va., graduating in 1999 as class valedictorian. As an outpost of Saudi values on American soil, the academy enjoys Saudi government funding, is chaired by the Saudi ambassador in Washington, and boasts a curriculum imported straight from Riyadh.

    Thus, the first-grade teachers' guide at the Islamic Saudi Academy instructs that Christianity and Judaism are false religions. When one realizes that the curriculum is overseen by Saleh Al-Fawzan, who in 2003 endorsed the institution of slavery, this comes as less than a grand shock.

    While still living in America, Mr. Abu Ali developed ties to the "paintball jihadists" of northern Virginia, nine of whom have served time in jail. In 2000, he went to study Islam at its source, at the Islamic University of Medina. In May 2003, a terrorist attack in Riyadh left 34 dead, nine of them Americans; a month later, the Saudis arrested Mr. Abu Ali for connections to this crime, incarcerating him until his recent transfer to America.

    Conservatives focus on the hair-raising news that an Al Qaeda affiliate had plans to kill the president of the United States. Liberals hardly note this development, focusing instead on the question of whether, while in Saudi custody, Mr. Abu Ali was tortured (Justice Department officials call this an "utter fabrication"). Note the editorials in four northeastern newspapers:

    • The New York Times: This case is "another demonstration of what has gone wrong in the federal war on terror. In an undisciplined attempt to wring statements out of any conceivable suspect, American officials have worked with countries like Saudi Arabia."

    • The Washington Post: "the courts need to ensure that no evidence obtained by torture - with or without the connivance of the U.S. government - is used to convict people in U.S. courts."

    • The Baltimore Sun writes (dripping with sarcasm) that, "By unsealing a federal indictment against Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, the U.S. government garnered headlines about an alleged terrorist plot, instead of the unexplained imprisonment of an American citizen in Saudi Arabia. It portrayed Mr. Abu Ali has [sic] someone other than a victim of torture. The government may think its secret is safe. But it isn't."

    • Newsday's editorial is titled "Shame on Bush for rights violation."

    These liberal analysts evince no concern that an American citizen trained by the Saudi government in Virginia will stand trial for plotting to assassinate the president. They decline to explore the implications of this stunning piece of news. They offer no praise to law enforcement for having broken a terrorism case. Instead, they focus exclusively on evidentiary procedures. They know only civil liberties; national security does not register. But, as Prime Minister Blair correctly writes, "there is no greater civil liberty than to live free from terrorist attack."

    To strike a proper balance, Westerners must ask themselves what happens in case of error about the Islamist threat. Mistakes enhancing national security leave innocents spending time in jail. Mistakes enhancing civil liberties produce mass murder and perhaps a Taliban-like state (with its near absence of civil liberties).

    Which emphasis, dear reader, do you choose?

    From www.danielpipes.org | Original article available at: www.danielpipes.org/article/2434

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