Some call it sleeper cells...
March 10, 2004
Local Jihadi Adham Amin Hassoun, who ran the Benevolence International Foundation, an Al Qaeda fundraising operation in South Florida, was charged on March 7, 2004 with "trying to obstruct a federal investigation and hiding his role in recruiting fighters and raising money to support a global holy war".
Adham Hassoun had been hand picked by Bin Laden emissary Arnaam Ernaout to run BIF, and was a friend of dirty bomber wannabes Jose Padilla and Adnan Shukrijumah. Hassoun ,whose BIF office was 5 minutes from the Taco Bell where Padilla worked , is alleged to have aided Padilla's conversion to Islam and then financed his trip to Egypt where ,according to his former employer Mohammed Qureshi, Padilla, was "listening and learning "
In 2002 Padilla was arrested after returning from Karachi to the U.S. before he could scout out potential targets for a dirty bomb attack. Before leaving Florida, Padilla attended the mosque of the School for Islamic Studies in Sunrise, which was directed by Zulfiqar Ali Shah. Last year Shah became director and CEO of the Universal Heritage Foundation in Kissimmee. (see blog entry above).
Hassoun was initially jailed in 2002 for overstaying a 1989 student visa. Florida Islamists like Imam Ibrahim Dremali of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, and Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout of the American Muslim Association of North America, in North Miami Beach belligerently declared his innocence and demanded Hassoun's release.
In a January 1st 2004 article I coauthored with William Mayer (Florida Trail of Terror), Shah was quoted as saying "I'm astonished" upon hearing of Hassoun's arrest, explaining paradoxically that, "Hassoun has been an active member of the community for many years."
Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout bellowed that Hassoun's "civil rights had been broken.' "They don't have anything against him" "It's just because he's Muslim, This is how we feel ".This guy is clean. If there's anything wrong .we would have known, we wouldn't go there for him. "But they have no respect for him, no respect for religion, no respect for us -as if we don't exist at all". This is not good". "We were so optimistic today and we feel the system betrayed us". he wailed.
ICBR Imam Ibrahim Dremali who was a witness for the defense at Hassoun's trial , piled on the pathos and recounted "seeing Hassoun's two young sons sitting outside the courtroom unable to speak."It broke my heart believe me", said Dremali.
As this writer and others have pointed out in the past, that any statements made by Ibrahim Dremali proof that "there is a lie in believe".
Dremali had this to say after the trial proceedings "I feel they want to show the American people they are doing something". He claimed that the prosecutors" didn't have a good understanding of Islam and that their questions a had become accusatory". As usual, Dremali's rant ended with a question. "Am I a witness here or am I am I on trial ?" Is Islam on trial ? http://www.theasianoutlook.com/sunrisee.htm
Now that Adham Hassoun will be once again on trial maybe Imam Ibrahim Dremali's rhetorical questions will finally be met with a response by the FBI and local law enforcement agencies.
It should be recalled that Dremali , was quoted in a newspaper article claiming that ," he barely knew the guy" (Hassoun) when asked about his testifying on his behalf . This statement was contradicted in another article in which a Muslim lawyer asserted that Dremali and Hassoun had "known each other for years"
. After the announcement of the 14 page indictment against Hassoun, Attorney General John Ashcoft declared that; "those who lie and seek under oath to obstruct these important proceedings, as Mr.Hassoun allegedly did impair our ability to protect the nation and will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law" .
Let's hope that Dremali's rhetoric , Zakkout's indignation, and Shah's astonishment will have been rehearsals and that they will be sharing the main stage at Adham Hassoun's next trial as defendents, instead of character witnesses .