This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/303
October 24, 2004
MIM: The spate of newspaper articles detailing the FBI raids on the Islamic American/Africa Relief Agency do not mention the name of Ibrahim Khaleel, who is the educational director of the IARA. He is also an employee of the Missouri school system. Ibrahim Khaleel was responsible for bringing a program to teach public school teachers about Islam under the guise of learning how to 'accomodate' their Muslim students.
Khaleel wrote a long article on the Muslim American Society's online magazine about the public school Islam program which was entitled :"The Muslim Student in the Public Schools". The article starts off with words : "Allah has obligated us to spread his words...".http://www.americanmuslim.org/17education17a.html
Besides being a blatant exercise in Da'wa (Islamic propapagation) the IARA educational director Khaleel's Islamic courses for teachers in the public schools is, in essence being funded by Al Qaeda and the other terrorist entities associated with the Islamic American/African Relief fund.
For the complete article and additional information please scroll to the bottom of the page.
Ibrahim Khaleel is also the ex president and an officer in officio for an organisation known as Zumunta, which is involved with 'educational' programs in Nigeria.
In 1989 The Islamic American Relief Agency was directly linked to Al Qaeda terrorist Zayid Khalil who was a fundraiser for the IARA while a student and director of the Muslim Student Association at Columbia University in Missouri.Khalil was accused of purchasing the cell phones which were used by Osama Bin Laden issue the directive to perpetrate the 1998 simultaneous bombings of the US embassy in Kenya and Nairobi . http://www.geocities.com/islamic_monitor/islamic_agenda.html
The IARA is partnered with the Islamic African Relief Agency and bore the same name until 2000 when it opened an American branch in Missouri. The IARA in Khartoun was closed in October of 2004 and it's directors arrested for "providing direct financial support to Al Qaeda, Hamas, and other terrorist groups." (see article below).
On October 20, 2004 the IARA posted a press release on their website announcing that "their assets had been blocked pending further investigation" and disingenuously claiming that "IARA USA does not have any affiliates and is independently run " http://www.iara-usa.org/index.htm
IARA - USA press release 10/20/04
"The American Islamic Relief Agency is an American non profit organisation established in 1985 and dedicated to providing humanitarian relief to the impoverished globally.
Unfortunately, the IARA has been notified that their assets have been blocked pending further investigation. We want to assure our donors and public that we have no knowledge whatsoever,or any reason to believe, that IARA-USA has engaged in any wrongdoing . In fact we have been staunch supporters in the fight against terrorism in our dealings with other organizations to ascertain that money distributed reaches the intended humanitarian designations.We unequivocally condemn any act of terrorism or We plan to fully cooperate with the government's investigation with the hope of having our funds immediately released for distribution to the impoverished."
MIM : The IARA is closely connected to numerous organisations such Mercy Relief. The director of an Islamist 'charity' organisation called Perdaus 'which is billed as "a Muslim social service organisation" connected to 108 other organisations, and which shares 'Mercy's' website, announced Mercy's partnership with IARA in 2001 and stated that IARA was a member of a coalition of 170 charities, The speach is a case study in how Islamist terror charity fronts are sold to the public using orphans as their cover .
(for the complete statement scroll to the bottom of the page)
"The Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA-USA) is an independent American non-profit humanitarian organization established in 1985 and has been dedicated to providing humanitarian relief to the impoverished globally.
More troubling is why the IARA was allowed to continue operations until 2004 after one of their employees was directly linked to Bin Laden and the attacks against the US embassies in Africa . Zayid Khalil . who suppled Bin Laden with the cell phones used in the attacks, lived in a room rented out by the father of none other then Ismail Randall Royer, the ex CAIR communications and 'civl rights' coordinator is now jailed on charges of planning to wage Jihad in the United States.
According to Reason online : " A few years back, he (Royer's father ,Ramon ) rented a spare room to Ziyad Khalil, who later gained fame for providing al Qaeda with a cell phone. (According to Royer, he also split owing some rent.) It's a pretty bizarre coincidence, given his son's predicament, but Royer notes that most of the students he's rented to have been Muslims." http://reason.com/hod/tc070203.shtml
Missouri has had it's share of militant Islamists associated with Al Qaeda in their universities and schools . In 1999 Kamran Bokhari, the North American spokesman for Al Muhajiroun was a student at the University of Missouri in Springfield and president of the Muslim Student Association. He also helped found the Islamic Center of Springfield, which was funded by the Saudi Soliman Albuthe. Both Albuthe and the Islamic Center are currently under investigation for ties to terrorism funding and Al Qaeda.
More disturbing is the fact that the present educational director of the IARA, Ibrahim Khaleel (no relation to Zayid Khalil) is a teacher in the Missouri schools and the Islamic academy .
Khaleel is behind the program which brings Islam into the public schools under the guise of "sensitivity " training for teachers in order to better "serve the needs of Muslim students".
In effect Al Qaeda is involved in the propagation of Islam in Missouri public schools . In 2003 Khaleel Ibrahim wrote an article in an Islamist online publication explaining "Who is the Muslim Student " which outlined his Islamic propagation program which began with reminding Muslims that "Allah has obligated Muslims to spread his words".
A profile of of Khaleel on the Muslim American Society website states that :
"Ibrahim Khaleel, Ph.D. is currently an industrial technology teacher with the Columbia public school system in Missouri and the education officer at the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA-USA)."
Ibrahim Khaleel is the past president and current member ex officio of an organisation called Zumunta which uses the IARA to fund and organise their activities. http://www.zumunta.org/Main/Executives.htm
Zumunta bills itself as, " a progressive, fast growing, non political organisation of North Nigerians based in the United States". http://www.zumunta.org/
In 2002 Khaleel wrote an article on education in Nigeria which was published on the Zumunta website . http://www.gamji.com/NEWS2015.htm
The same year Khaleel organised an educational forum in Nigeria under the aegis of the IARA . http://www.iara-usa.org/astep.htm
FBI Raids Islamic American Relief Agency
The FBI tonight is sorting through items seized from a Columbia office building this afternoon. The FBI served federal search warrants at the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA) on Cherry Street. The FBI arrived shortly after two o'clock this afternoon. They took boxes, computers, and file cabinets from the IARA. Law enforcement officials also changed the locks of three storage units across town at Columbia Storage on Hickory Street.
By NATE CARLISLE And MIKE WELLS of the Tribune's staffPublished Thursday, October 14, 2004
Federal agents removed cars, computers, file cabinets and boxes from an Islamic charity that has been accused of terrorist connections but whose workers say has done nothing wrong.
Authorities yesterday also searched the Columbia home of the executive director of the Islamic American Relief Agency, known as IARA-USA.
This morning, law officers removed items from storage lockers rented to the agency.
No one had been arrested as of this morning, and no charges had been filed.
The raids began on the same day the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated the charity's parent organization, the Islamic African Relief Agency, a financier of terrorism and announced a seizure of its assets. The Columbia-based charity was listed as one of its U.S. offices.
The treasury department yesterday accused the African agency of providing direct financial assistance to Osama bin Laden and terrorist organizations, including Hamas.
FBI spokesman Jeff Lanza said the seizures in Columbia did not result from any designations by the treasury department. Lanza said the FBI was acting on a search warrant but that all documents related to that warrant were sealed.
"This is part of an ongoing criminal investigation," Lanza said yesterday at the scene. He declined to provide details about the investigation or what law officers were seeking.
Ali Bagegni, one of the American agency's board members who was contacted yesterday by the Tribune while the raids were still occurring, said he was not aware of the federal activities. "There are no illegal things," Bagegni said of his agency's operations.
Fatten Elkomy, who says she's worked since 1999 in programming for IARA-USA and who was interviewed yesterday by federal agents, said the agency has no terrorist ties. "I've been working there serving orphans and children with at least one deceased parent," Elkomy said this morning, "and it just breaks my heart they're not going to get any help."
About 30 federal agents arrived at about 2:30 p.m. yesterday at the American agency's offices, 201 E. Cherry St. Over the course of about six hours, agents towed three vans registered to the relief agency, along with a vanload of computers and enough boxes and file cabinets to fill two-thirds of a 1-ton U-Haul truck.
The FBI also searched the home of Mubarak Hamed, IARA-USA's executive director. Police cordoned off Samantha Court on Columbia's western edge as agents packed unknown contents into a mid-size U-Haul truck and half a dozen cars. Authorities finished about 7 p.m.
At Columbia Storage, 1411 Hickory St., agents this morning removed boxes and two computers from three lockers rented by the agency.
Law enforcement agencies assisting in the search and seizure included the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Secret Service and police from Kansas City and Kansas City, Kan. Columbia police officers blocked traffic around the building.
On its Web site, the IARA-USA describes itself as a not-for-profit organization established in 1985 to raise money for relief assistance, foster care and orphanages in conflict-ridden areas in Africa, Asia, Bosnia and elsewhere.
The Columbia office called itself the Islamic African Relief Agency until May 2000, and two of the vehicles seized yesterday are still registered in that name.
Yesterday's declaration by the treasury department claimed the African agency, based in Khartoum, Sudan, provided direct financial support to bin Laden and is formerly affiliated with the precursor of al-Qaida. The department also claims the African agency comingled funds with bin Laden and his organization and participated in providing assistance to Taliban fighters.
The treasury department lists specific examples of IARA fund-raising for terrorism. In one instance, the department says the Afghan leader of the IARA in 2000 went on a fund-raising trip to Sudan and other Middle Eastern locations that raised $5 million for the activities of a bin Laden-run terrorist network.
Two federal agents interviewed Elkomy, 44, for about three hours yesterday. "All the conversation was trying to find how we do work and how I do work," she said this morning.
Elkomy said agents also asked about others who work at the Columbia agency. They also asked about organizations with which the agency collaborates, she said.
Hamed, 47, could not be reached for comment. He is an economist with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof, R-Columbia, said he did not receive advance notice of the searches and expected to be briefed today.
Arcenia Harmon and Miglena Sternadori of the Tribune's staff contributed to this report.
Agents search Islamic relief group
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Federal and local law enforcers were searching the Islamic American Relief Agency on Wednesday as part of what the FBI described generically as a criminal investigation.
The search of the Columbia office occurred as the Bush administration accused the Sudan-based Islamic African Relief Agency of helping finance Osama bin Laden and other terrorists.
The Treasury Department directed U.S. banks to block any assets found in this country belonging to the Islamic African Relief Agency and five designated officials. The department said the group, headquartered in Khartoum, Sudan, has more than 40 offices worldwide, including one in Columbia.
People wearing FBI outfits carried computers, cardboard boxes and file cabinets out of the Islamic group's Columbia office and loaded the equipment into a white van and U-Haul truck. Among those participating in the search was a man wearing a jacket of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
FBI spokesman Jeff Lanza would not say whether the search was connected to terrorism. He also declined to characterize the investigation, saying the federal search warrant remained under seal.
"No one's being detained, and no one has been arrested," Lanza said.
The search began around 2:30 p.m. and involved 11 law enforcement agencies, Lanza said. FBI agents also were searching a Columbia home, Lanza said. He declined to elaborate.
The Islamic nonprofit group was formed in 1985, according to its Web site, and among other things provides emergency relief to refugees in Afghanistan. The group also promotes aid efforts in such places as Iran, Ethiopia, Mali and Bosnia. It is located near downtown Columbia, not far from the campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia.
The group's Web site offers the chance to sponsor an overseas orphan ($30 a month will provide a one-on-one sponsorship). The Islamic organization also provides vocational training and primary health care, including immunizations, nutrition counseling, prenatal care, infection disease prevention and clean water supplies, according to its Web site.
No one answered a phone call Wednesday at the Islamic American Relief Agency.
The U.S. Agency for International Development, which provides disaster or poverty aid to nations, awarded the Islamic American Relief Agency about $4.2 million in contracts in the 1990s for relief projects in northern Mali, USA Today reported in September 2001. The contracts were canceled in November 2000, when then-Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering wrote that continuing them "would be contrary to the national defense and foreign policy interest of the United States."
The Treasury Department alleged that the overseas branches of the Islamic African Relief Agency and five of its officials _ all listed as being outside the United States _ provided "hundreds of thousands of dollars" to bin Laden in 1999. Treasury also believes that as early as 2003 the group was responsible for moving money to the Palestinian territories to support terrorist activities and served "as a conduit to Hamas in one Western European country."
By Jeremy Kohler and Peter Shinkle
Treasury Accuses Islamic Relief Agency of Aiding Terrorists
The Associated Press
The Treasury Department's action means U.S. banks must block any assets found in this country belonging to the Islamic African Relief Agency and the five designated officials. People in the United States are not allowed to provide money to them.
The department said the group, headquartered in Khartoum, Sudan, has more than 40 offices worldwide, including one in Columbia, Mo. The five officials designated by Treasury are all listed as being outside this country.
A message seeking comment was left with the group's office in Missouri.
Treasury alleged that international offices of the Islamic African Relief Agency "provided direct financial support" for bin Laden. It also alleged that the group "engaged in a joint program with an institute controlled by (bin Laden) that was involved in providing assistance to Taliban fighters."
The government alleged that the overseas branches of the group provided "hundreds of thousands of dollars" to bin Laden in 1999. Treasury also believes that as early as 2003 the group was responsible for moving money to the Palestinian territories to support terrorist activities and served "as a conduit to Hamas in one Western European country."
The five officials designated Wednesday are Mohammed Ibrahim Sulaiman, listed by Treasury as secretary general at the group's headquarters in Khartoum; Jaffar Ahmad Abdullah Makki, south Asia region director; Abdul Aziz Abbakar Muhamad, Pakistan director; Khalid Ahmad Jumah Al-Sudani, Middle East regional director; and Ibrahim Buisir, representative in Ireland.
Meanwhile, the office in Missouri, which goes by the name of the Islamic American Relief Agency, was searched by federal and local law enforcement officials on Wednesday.
People wearing FBI outfits carried computers, cardboard boxes and a file cabinet out of the office and loaded the equipment into a white van and U-Haul truck. An FBI spokesman Jeff Lanza would not say whether the search was connected to terrorism. He also declined to characterize the investigation, saying the federal search warrant remained under seal.
Federal agents seize articles in ‘criminal investigation'
By JENNIFER MYERS
October 14, 2004
[see full size image] Thirteen law enforcement agencies, including Columbia Police, the U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Joint Terrorism Task Force, joined in a raid of the office of the Islamic American Relief Agency on Wednesday at 201 E. Cherry St. According to its Web site, the relief agency was formed in 1985 and provides health-care services and emergency relief to refugees and orphaned children in a variety of countries. (Photos by SHAUNA BITTLE/Missourian)
FBI agents removed computers, file cabinets, a fax machine and several boxes of unknown contents.
Federal agents seized cars, scores of boxes and 14 computers in a raid on the Islamic American Relief Agency near Providence and Broadway that began Wednesday afternoon and ended about six hours later. No arrests were made.
FBI Special Agent Jeff Lanza said the raid was part of a long-running, ongoing investigation of the agency.
The U.S. Department of Treasury said in a release Wednesday that the name Islamic American Relief Agency is one of the names used by some of the 40 organizations worldwide with links to the Islamic African Relief Agency, which the treasury department alleged to have links to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida and the Taliban. On Wednesday, the department blocked "all accounts, funds and assets" of the Islamic African Relief Agency and its affiliates in the United States.
The department alleged that the overseas branches of the Islamic African Relief Agency provided "hundreds of thousands of dollars" to Bin Laden in 1999. The treasury department also believes that as early as 2003, the group was responsible for moving money to the Palestinian territories to support terrorist activities and served "as a conduit to Hamas in one Western European country."
FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents along with state highway patrolmen and Columbia Police surrounded the organization's office in a small, nondescript brick building at 201 E. Cherry at about 2:30 p.m. At least two vans were searched and towed from the scene while nearly 30 agents worked inside the building, removing filing cabinets, binders, computers, a fax machine and sealed paper bags and boxes. One box was marked "posters of Iraq" in black marker.
The documents were seized under a warrant obtained by the FBI and other federal, state and local agencies under the authority of the Office of Foreign Asset Control.
"The warrant is being executed pursuant to an ongoing federal investigation," Lanza said. "It's a federal criminal investigation and the affidavit in support of the warrant is sealed."
Lanza would not say what agents were seeking but emphasized the warrant authorized a search, not arrests.
FBI agents were also searching a Columbia home, Lanza said. He would not elaborate.
Attempts to reach any of the individuals listed as directors on the agency's 2002 tax form were unsuccessful and no one answered the agency's phone.
Lorenzo Vidino of The Investigative Project, a Washington, D.C.-based counterterrorism research agency, said the Islamic American Relief Agency has been "used by the Sudanese government" to spread radical Islam, and "still is." The agency also has provided employment and financial support to Somali fundamentalists, he said.
Vidino said members of the agency's board are involved with other charities whose assets have been frozen, and some are under investigation themselves.
"We've been watching this charity for a long time, but we never had a smoking gun," said Vidino. "I suppose (the government) did."
Agents moved in and out of the building while police officers from various local, state and interstate agencies provided security around the building Wednesday.
Detective Jeff Westbrook of the Columbia Police Department said he arrived at the scene atabout 2 p.m.
"We're basically providing security," he said. "I don't know what's going on inside."
Officers with the Federal Air Marshals, the U.S. Secret Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Postal Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also involved. The Mobile Response Unit of the Columbia Police Department and one other large police vehicle were used as temporary operation bases while police cars closed off all entrances, including shutting off access to the Walgreens drive-through pharmacy window.
Lanza would not comment on whether the search was connected to the January request by the Senate Finance Committee to turn over IRS files on the Islamic American Relief Agency.
Rep. Kenny Hulshof, R-Mo., who asked the FBI before Sept. 11, 2001, to divulge any information it had about terrorism cells in Columbia, said he was not given advance notice of Wednesday's raid.
"There hasn't been any information exchanged between then and today and that's what's troubling — this was out of the blue," Hulshof said.
Hulshof said he would contact FBI officials today to find out what motivated them to act Wednesday.
Bernell Dorrough, Kate Moser, Jennifer Oladipo, Mike Burden, Robbie Ketcham, Heather Olson, Nadia Afifi and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
MIM : According to the' Guide Star' website donation report the IARA is "soliciting funds to be used in special projects" which includes Islamic propagation in Missouri public schools and money for Al Qaeda activities. The question remains as to how many donations came from state or federal institutions as well as large corporations.
IARA provides emergency relief programs, sustainable development projects and child sponsorship internationally, predominantly in Africa and the Middle East.
MIM: This 1997 Muslim Student Association list of "Muslim Relief Organisations list the IARA as the Islamic African Relief Agency. The list also provides contact information for groups such as Benevolence International, The Holyland Foundation, and Global Relief.
The above organisations as well as many others on the list have been shut down as terrorist funding fronts and are / or are currently under investigation by the US government. The MSA is also on a list of groups which are being scrutinized for links to terrorism. The URL of the MSA can be found listed as MAS/gateway Hamas.
Note that the IARA lists "cattle fattening" as one of their 'charitable' endeavors.
Islamic African Relief Agency - USA (IARA-USA)
By Charles W. Corey
Washington -- The U.S. Department of the Treasury October 13 announced its determination that the global network of the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA) and five of its senior officials have been providing financial contributions to terrorist organizations.
The determination blocks all accounts, funds and assets of IARA in the United States and criminalizes the provision of money or support to any of the organization's more than 40 offices in the United States and worldwide.
In a written statement, Treasury Secretary John W. Snow said, "This action marks another crucial step in the United States Government's continuing efforts to close down the conduits that allow terrorists to raise and move money."
The international offices of IARA, headquartered in Khartoum, Snow said, "were providing direct financial support to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida, Hamas and other terrorist groups.
"Today's action shuts down financial channels that were being used to propagate terrorist activity."
Snow said terrorists are intently seeking "to abuse charitable networks and organizations for their evil purposes."
"Today's action," Snow said, "highlights the important role of designations in the war on terrorist finance: freezing assets that might otherwise have been used to support terrorists; preventing future funds from flowing through tainted channels; and making clear to the public and our international partners the conduits being used to fuel terrorism."
Snow called the designation process "a key weapon in our arsenal to combat terrorism" but cautioned, "It represents just one of the tools at our disposal.
A host of U.S. government agencies work hand in hand to combat terrorist networks from every angle of attack, Snow explained. "The tools and expertise of our colleagues in law enforcement agencies, as well as the intelligence and diplomatic communities, all play indispensable roles in this fight," he added.
Under President Bush's leadership, Snow said, 393 individuals and entities have been designated as terrorists or terrorist facilitators and, working in concert with its global partners, the United States has frozen more than $142 million in terrorist-related assets.
MIM: Ibrahim Khaleel, the educational director of the Islamic American Relief Agency , and a staff member of the Columbia Missouri school district , wrote an article in the Muslim American Society magazine entitled :
"The Muslim Student in the Public Schools"
Khaleel gloated about the sucess of his Islamic propagation program among public school teachers which he brought in to the schools in the guise of diversity and sensitivity training but was aimed at conversion . Khaleel's own description of the program spells out the Islamist intent :
Explaining the obligation of Muslims to bring Islam to infidels and ;
To educate teachers and administrators how to best serve the needs of Muslim students"
This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/303