Al Arian & co defendents ran Palestinian Islamic Jihad communications center & directed suicide bombings from Tampa
PIJ goals were "to rid Palestine of Jews" and "make sure there was no peace till that was done"
"...( Counter terrorism expert Steven) Emerson cited University of South Florida professor Al-Arian. Al-Arian came to the U.S. in 1979 and started at least in 1984 the beginning of the conspiracy to carry out Jihad. A key Islamic figure in the United States, who used the United States to acquire political influence power, Al-Arian headed an academic institute and organized charities, which provided perfect cover. Al-Arian use of a university setting and a political cause is typical of Jihadist organization, Emerson explained, and allows them to operate "under the radar" of U.S. law enforcement..."http://www.nixoncenter.org/publications/Program%20Briefs/PBrief%202003/030303terror.htm
MIM: Sami Al Arian's wife, (who inexplicably remains unindicted) was listed as a director on the incorporation papers of the World Islamic Studies Enterprise (WISE) which was the 'think tank' front for Islamic Jihad.In 1999 she brazenly wrote a letter to the Tampa Tribune insisting certain publications had nothing to do with PIJ. Besides the two think tanks which served as a front for Islamic Jihad (ICP and WISE) Al Arian opened several companies in Florida . (see documentation below).
Al-Arian, Co-Defendants Called Jihad `Communications Center'By ELAINE SILVESTRINI and MICHAEL FECHTER
The Tampa Tribune
TAMPA - Sami Al-Arian and others named in a federal indictment served as "the communications center" for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a federal prosecutor said Thursday.
Giving new details of the theory prosecutors plan to present when Al-Arian goes on trial along with three co-defendants, Assistant U.S. Attorney Walter E. Furr III told U.S. District Judge James Moody: "Terrorism is a very unique crime. It requires someone in the group [who] acknowledges or announces who did it and why. ... The PIJ cell in the United States was personally responsible for getting the word out."
Defense Calls Claim Hearsay
Defense attorneys dismissed the prosecutor's statements as based entirely on hearsay. Al- Arian's attorney, William Moffitt, declined to respond to the specifics, telling reporters outside the courthouse, "You'll hear it in my opening statement." When pressed on another issue, Moffitt again demurred, saying, "I just don't feel like trying my case right now on the street corner."
Al-Arian is scheduled to go on trial June 6 along with Sameeh Hammoudeh, Hatim Naji Fariz and Ghassan Zayed Ballut. Those four, and five others who are overseas, are accused of helping organize and finance the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an organization that has claimed responsibility for suicide attacks in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.
Moody on Thursday denied a defense request that he delay the trial until July 11 on the grounds that prison and jail officials have restricted Al-Arian's ability to review evidence. The judge wrote that if jail restrictions were that problematic, the attorneys should have taken Moody up on his offer in March to allow Al-Arian to come to the courthouse up to five days a week to review evidence.
Attorneys for Fariz filed a motion asking Moody to bar evidence about the more than a dozen attacks listed in the indictment. The attorneys argued that the prosecution must prove with more than hearsay evidence that the defendants were part of the conspiracy and that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was responsible for the attacks.
In response, Moody directed Furr to give a proffer, or a description of the proof the prosecution intends to present about the defendants' participation.
"At one time, you had 40 percent of the board of directors of PIJ here in Tampa," Furr said, referring to Al-Arian and three other indicted defendants who now are overseas, Basheer Nafi, Mazen Al- Najjar and Ramadan Shallah.
The organization had two goals, Furr said. One was to "rid Palestine of the Jews," he said. The other was to make sure "there was never peace till that was done."
Furr said, "There was a lot of forwarding of information" by the defendants about the organization's activities and goals. He described a "terror cycle" that begins with killings by the organization, then statements on behalf of the organization, claiming responsibility. Finally, he said, the organization "uses murder to get money to get more support" for more attacks.
"The defendants were involved in this," Furr said.
The Jihad used a series of publications to spread its dogma and trumpet its attacks, Furr said. One, Al-Muhjahid, had the Jihad's logo on its masthead. The other, Islam and Palestine, routinely published interviews with the group's leaders.
Al-Arian's Wife Responded In 1999
Al-Arian and his family have acknowledged distributing Islam and Palestine but vehemently denied that it was part of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
In May 1999, Al-Arian's wife, Nahla, wrote a letter to The Tampa Tribune protesting a story that said her husband's charity, the Islamic Committee for Palestine, published the newsletter.
"It was published in Europe and edited by students living in Europe," she wrote. "It had an Islamic orientation but never asserted in any issue that it was representing any political movement, including Islamic Jihad or Hamas. It is grossly inaccurate and pure conjecture to claim otherwise."
Another Jihad publication Furr described was Islamic Vanguard. That publication, he said, listed a post office box that belonged to Al-Najjar and another overseas defendant, Muhammed Tasir Al-Khatib, when they were in college with Al-Arian in North Carolina in the early 1980s.
Agents found copies of Vanguard in Fariz's and Ballut's homes when they were arrested in 2003, Furr said.
Reporter Elaine Silvestrini can be reached at (813) 259-7837. Reporter Michael Fechter can be reached at (8130259-7837.
MIM: Besides Al Arian's wife Nahlaa, one of the registered agents on one of the companies is Hussam Abujabara. He was a computer professor at the University of Central Florida who was deported from the United States on a 'visa violation'. He cofounded a 'charity" with Al Arian that was accused of having terrorism ties. /Abujabara co authored papers with Al Arian and FAU computer professor Bassem Al Halabi.
Former professor pleads guilty
Former UCF Professor Hussam Jubara pleaded guilty Thursday in response to a federal indictment. He faces certain deportation for his plea, and possibly months more of jail time. Jubara was charged with immigration violations in March, a charge he had fought before.