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National Press Release: Radical Muslim Group to Participate in White House Conference

Islamic Circle of North America - on Senate list of groups "which finance terror and perpetuate violence" invited to WH event
February 28, 2005

PipeLineNews: Radical Muslim Group to Participate in White House Conference

2/28/2005 9:20:00 PM

To: National Desk

Contact: William A. Mayer of PipeLineNews, 925-689-9492

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following was released today by William A. Mayer and Beila Rabinowitz of PipeLineNews:

Radical Muslim Group to Participate in White House Conference

By William A. Mayer & Beila Rabinowitz - PipeLineNews

Washington DC - PipeLineNews - Demonstrating the administration's sometimes spotty ability to coordinate America's war on terror -- on a government-wide basis -- the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives has invited a representative from the radical Islamist organization ISNA -- Islamic Society of North America -- to participate in a "White House Leadership conference" scheduled March 1, 2005.

The conference is a follow-up to one held the previous year where the group was encouraged to submit names of groups which "would benefit from the conference and the funding for faith based initiatives."

ISNA should not be an unknown quantity in official Washington. It appears as one of 25 Islamist organizations whose corporate tax returns were requested by Senator Grassley's Finance Committee in 2003. Also listed among those organizations is the Holy Land Foundation which was been shut down by the Department of Justice because of its direct funding of terrorism.

ISNA's radical bent is well documented, its past president, Muzamil Siddiqi supports Hamas and has made statements threatening the United States because of its support for Israel.

ISNA's former VP is Siraj Wahhaj. On February 2, 1995 Wahhaj was referred to -- by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White -- as one of the "unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators" in a 1993 plot to bomb New York City landmarks, hatched by Omar Abdel Rahman, the 'Blind Sheik' who was sentenced to life in prison.

ISNA operates hundreds of US Mosques through an "arm's length distance" relationship with the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) and as such seems instrumental in channeling Saudi Wahhabist money into the country. Non-Wahhabi American Muslims estimate that fully 80 percent of US Mosques have fallen under the dominion of the Wahhabi sect.

ISNA should be considered an umbrella organization, a clearinghouse of sorts, which facilitates relationships between Islamists. ISNA is also closely allied with the Muslim Student Association, another of the groups listed on the Senate Finance Committee's IRS request.

Denoting possibly either a circling of the wagons mentality over this embarrassing breach in security, or a complete lack of concern, numerous calls to both the majority and minority sides of the Senate Finance Committee as well as Jim Towey's WH Office of Faith Based Programs have been unreturned.

Complete article available at:

2005 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/


You probably saw this already but thought I would pass it along in case.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Former Saudi Charity Head to Sue Rice in U.S. Court

Source: Reuters

By Dominic Evans

RIYADH, May 14 (Reuters) - The former head of Saudi Arabia's Al-Haramain charity said on Saturday he was filing a lawsuit in the United States against senior officials including Condoleezza Rice for putting him on a U.N. terrorist blacklist.

Saudi Arabia shut down Al-Haramain Foundation last October, four months after Aqil al-Aqil's name was placed on the U.N. list of suspects linked to al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, former rulers of Afghanistan, after a U.S. request.

Washington said the charity's international branches provided "financial, material and logistical" support to Saudi-born bin Laden's network, a charge Aqil repeatedly denied.

"Since my opponent is the American administration, which is working on the principle of 'guilty until proven innocent', then the way to clear my name is through the American judiciary," Aqil said in a statement.

"... I have decided to file a case against the American government in the federal court in Washington DC."

Alongside Rice, Aqil named Treasury Secretary John Snow, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and Juan Zarate, the U.S. Treasury's assistant secretary for terrorism financing.

"I am not asking anything of the American judiciary -- which is known for its independence -- apart from justice," he said. Since the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States, carried out mainly by Saudis, Riyadh has tightened financial controls to stem any flow of cash to militants. U.S. officials say Saudi Arabia was the main source of al Qaeda funding before 2001. The kingdom shut down Al-Haramain and said last year it was folding its assets into a new group that will channel all Saudi charitable contributions abroad. Aqil said his own bank accounts had also been frozen, despite his efforts to show that Al-Haramain had "no link to terrorism, or the acts of al Qaeda, or what happened on Sept. 11". The organisation, founded in the early 1990s, used to raise around $50 million a year, making it one of the largest Saudi charities. It mixed international relief work with programmes to promote Saudi Arabia's austere Wahhabi Islam. It said it provided assistance and food to Muslims in East Africa, the Balkans, Chechnya and several Asian countries. It also built 1,300 mosques, sponsored 3,000 preachers and produced 20 million religious pamphlets, Al-Haramain officials said. But in March 2002 the United States listed the foundation's offices in Bosnia and Somalia as "terrorist organisations". Two years later it added Al-Haramain's branches in Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and the Netherlands to the list.

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