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Mosque with member being tried for terrorism donates garden to Chicago during trial- Mayor Daley cuts ribbon with Hamas members

Hamas members Oussama Jamal and Jamal Said join in ribbon cutting at terror park dedication with mayor and city officials
November 26, 2006

MIM: In what seems more a bribe then donation Chicagos Mayor Daley cut the ribbon to a park 'funded' by the Bridgeview Mosque Foundation at the same time that Mohammed Salah, one of their prominent members is on trial for terrorism and membership in Hamas.

Salah, 51, could face life in prison if convicted of charges including racketeering conspiracy, providing material support to terrorism and obstruction of justice. Also charged in the case were senior Hamas political leader Mousa Abu Marzook, currently a fugitive living in Syria, and Palestinian activist Abdelhaleem Hasan Abdelraziq Ashqar of Virginia.


But prosecutors flatly rejected the defense team's call for information on any government infiltration of the Bridgeview mosque where Salah worships.

In the court filing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Ferguson decried the request as "completely off the rails to the extent that defendant Salah purports to take up the cudgel for the Bridgeview mosque."

The mosque, which gave money to several Muslim charities later shut down by the government amid terrorism-funding allegations, has long been a focal point of the federal probe into Hamas activity in the south suburbs.

"We know the FBI has had informants in the mosque before," Deutsch said. "And we know that the FBI has had an interest in the mosque in general'.


MIM: Bridgeview Mosque member Mohammed Salah was found directly responsible for the drive by murder of David Boim a 17 year old American living in Israel. The verdict put an end to the Islamic Association of Palestine whose spokesman, Rafiq Jabir was the spokesman for the Bridgeview Mosque Foundation.

Jurors ruled that Oak Lawn-based Quranic Literacy Institute, a nonprofit group that translates religious texts, is liable for Boim's death. Quranic Literacy was accused in the lawsuit of laundering Hamas money in the early 1990s and providing cover for suspected high-ranking Hamas operative Mohammed Salah of Bridgeview.

Keys already had ruled that Salah as well as Muslim charity Holy Land Foundation and Palos Hills-based Islamic Association for Palestine were liable for Boim's death. That ruling marked the first time American organizations had been held liable for the actions of terrorists overseas, and Wednesday's jury award marked the first time they were hit in the pocketbook.

"We have exposed and hopefully put to an end the network in the U.S. that supported Hamas," Landes said. "The veil has been lifted."

MIM:This must be the first terrorist funded and sponsored garden opened outside of the Middle East in the presence of Hamas members Jamal Said and Oussama Jamal and Talat Othman with Chicago's mayor and city officials in attendence.

Oussama Jamal used the occasion of a 9/11 commemoration to announce that 9/11 was not perpetrated by Muslims.

"How certain are we that it was Arabs who were behind it?" Suggesting that Americans look at the causes, he argued that despair and fear are at the roots of terrorism.

MIM: The Bridgeview Mosque Foundation has been a terror hub for decades . In his book "American Jihad" counter terrorism expert Steven Emerson recounted a visit to the mosque and his encounter with Jamal Said:

Jamal Said, the Imam of Bridgeview Mosque is still an Imam their today together with IAP's Rafeeq Jabeer . Both Said and Jabeer were speakers at the IAP 2001 Chicago convention. Here is an account of a visit to the mosque by Steven Emerson:

..."Later, he took Khalid and me to the Bridgeview Mosque, where Jamal Said was the imam. I could tell immediately that we were deep in the heart of Hamas territory. The walls of the vestibule were covered with Hamas posters and recruiting literature showing masked gunmen brandishing automatic weapons. It was all in Arabic, but you could see daggers plunged into Jewish hearts wrapped up in American flags. They even had a library filled with militant terrorist videos and books. Khalid was there to translate for me. The Friday service was a rather strange experience. Out of 800 people, I was the only one wearing a red ski jacket. When the service was over I approached the imam and asked him if he had known Abdullah Azzam. He was very defensive. "I never met with him," he said quickly and then dismissed me. Earlier that year, two Hamas operatives, congregants of the mosque, were arrested in Israel for transferring money from the United States to terrorists on the West Bank. One of these men, Mohammad Jarad, told the Israelis that he was sent on his mission by Jamal Said".

MIM:Talat Othman, the head of the CIOCG the Council of Islamic Organisations of Greater Chicago was also present at te groundbreaking ceremony:

MIM: Talat Othman, who was co found of the Council of Islamic Organisations of Greater Chicago, whose director Talat Sunbulli, sits on the board of the Bridgeview Mosque Foundation, ( a known terrorist headquarters), has also been linked to Mohammed Salah, who was convicted of helping to finance the murder of the American teenager David Boim who was shot to death by Hamas terrorists while waiting for a bus home from school.

The court awarded the Boim family $156 million dollars in damages . The Islamic Association of Palestine (the American wing of Hamas) which was also ordered to pay compensation for the murder closed their website down

Talat Othman's financial holdings were also cited during Operation Greenquest, a massive law enforcement sweep which targetted terrorism funding via businesses, organisations and individuals in the United States.

Pics Local Muslims Donate Public Garden to the City of Chicago
November 14, 2006 Monday, November 13th marked a historic day in the life of Chicago's Muslim community thanks to a display of vision and generosity by Bridgeview's Muslim leadership.

On that cold Monday morning, Mayor Richard M. Daley, Mayor of the City of Chicago, and Tim Mitchell, Chicago Parks Superintendent, joined local Muslim community leaders and activists in the opening ceremony of the "Mosque Foundation Garden" in a plot of land immediately adjacent to the Adler Planetarium off of Lake Shore Drive.

The Garden, a gift from Chicagoland's Muslims to the City of Chicago, spans an area of 1 acre and is strategically situated between Lake Michigan's sandy beaches and Chicago's famous Adler Planetarium in the city's South Loop district.

Two cultivated strips of land are separated by a brick walkway that is minted with a large round engraving. The engraving bears the inscription "Mosque Foundation, Bridgeview Illinois" around an image of an astrolabe, a medieval Muslim invention that is used to determine the position of stars (a point of relevance to the location of the garden by the planetarium).

Trees planted in the garden are expected to form a shaded archway over the brick path when grown to full size. At one corner of the grassy patches, flowerbeds are carved out to beautify the landscaping with an assortment of vivacious colors come summertime, while at the other end, a selection of 50 stones, one from each State, form a Stonehenge configuration.

The gift idea, conceived by Talat Othman, a Chicago businessman, was implemented with the help of the Mosque Foundation leadership who rallied the Muslim community of Bridgeview to raise $100,000 in donations. The project took several months to complete.

Joining Mayor Daley, Mr. Mitchell, and Mr. Othman in a symbolic ribbon-cutting ceremony were key individuals responsible for the success of the initiative including Mr. Oussama Jammal, former Chairman and current Board Member of the Mosque Foundation; Imam Jamal Said, Imam and Director of the Mosque Foundation; Ms. Aisheh Said, Vice-President of the Mosque Foundation; and Chicago Park Commissioner and Attorney, Mr. Rouhy Shalabi.

A group of activists including the Mosque Foundation's Executive Assistant, Hind Makki, ICIRR organizer, Ahlam Jbara, and freelance broadcaster, Youssef Marei, were present in a show of support, while members of the media were on hand to document the special event. Scholars present included Professors Scott Alexander of the Catholic Theological Union and Harold Vogelaar of the Lutheran School of Theology.

Present from CAIR-Chicago were Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director, Sultan Muhammad, Communications Coordinator, and Dina Rehab, Outreach Coordinator.

"This initiative is wonderful on so many levels," Rehab said.

"First, it fulfills a key Islamic value and that is care for our environment; second, it sets a great precedent for mainstream Muslim philanthropy, a breakaway from traditional philanthropy that only benefits Muslims; third, it cultivates a sense of belonging to this great city among members of the Muslim community, and a sense of appreciation for the Muslim community among members of the general public.

"My hat off to Talat Othman, Oussama Jammal, Jamal Said, the Mosque Foundation community, and all the visionaries and activists who made this happen."

View Photos of Garden Opening Ceremony
View Video of Garden
Read the Chicago Tribune's Coverage

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