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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Why Is The Department Of Homeland Security Funding The "Hardening" Of Florida Mosques?

Why Is The Department Of Homeland Security Funding The "Hardening" Of Florida Mosques?

Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout's Big Score
April 9, 2008

Why Is The Department Of Homeland Security Funding The "Hardening" Of Florida Mosques?
Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout's Big Score

By William Mayer and Beila Rabinowitz

April 9, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - The Department of Homeland Security - [DHS] a cabinet level department - was created, with legislation signed into law by President Bush on November 25, 2002 as part of a governmental reorganization conducted post 9/11.

As part of this plan seven heretofore independent agencies have been rolled into this new bureaucracy - the Transportation Security Administration [TSA], U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration, U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard.

All of these sub-cabinet level departments report directly to the DHS Secretary, Michael Chertoff, a former circuit judge and federal prosecutor, who also served [1995-1996] as Special Counsel to the Senate's Whitewater Committee.

With a budget well over $50 billion DHS is the prototypical DC bureaucracy in which transparency and accountability are sometimes in short supply.

Starting in 2005 DHS, through FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, commenced a program - UASI Non-Profit Security Grants - the purpose of which was to provide:

"...funding support for target hardening activities to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of international terrorist attack. While this funding is provided specifically to high-risk nonprofit organizations, the program seeks to integrate nonprofit preparedness activities with broader state and local preparedness efforts..." [[DHS FY 2007 UASI Guidance]

In 2007 the amount available for this program was $24,007,500.00 [DHS FY UASI Grant Fund Distribution]

To clarify the decision making process in its grant making authority DHS promulgated a very specific set of guidelines to determine which nonprofits might be eligible for these awards:

"...Criteria for determining eligible applicants who are at high risk of terrorist attack include, but are not limited to:

  • Identification and substantiation (e.g. police reports or insurance claims) of prior threats or attacks against the nonprofit organization or directly related organizations (within or outside the U.S.) by a terrorist organization, network, or cell.
  • Symbolic value of the site(s) as a highly recognized national or historical institution that renders the site a possible target of terrorism.
  • Role of the applicant nonprofit organization in responding to or recovering from terrorist attacks
  • Findings from previously conducted risk assessments including threat, vulnerability or consequence.
  • In a 2007 article for Front Page Magazine Homeland Security's Islamist Payday, Joe Kaufman broke the story that a Florida based Islamist, Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, had been the recipient of one of these UASI grants.

    The resulting controversy apparently temporarily halted the awarding of the grant, which was resubmitted for further review.

    In a series of calls made to DHS, these writers have now ascertained that the review of Zakkout's grant proposal is complete and that the agency charged with securing the American homeland, has in its infinite wisdom awarded Zakkout $69, 885.00, to be used to purchase security hardware for 23 mosques in Florida's largest counties, Broward, Palm Beach, Miami and Dade.

    What kind of individual is Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout?

    He is a long-time Islamist and a supporter of Hamas. The 501c3 which he runs, American Muslims for Emergency Relief [AMER] will be the beneficiary of the DHS award and through that group the funds will be distributed. AMER is a division of a larger organization, the American Muslim Association of North America [AMANA] also run by Zakkout who is based in South Florida, an area well known for the presence of Muslim extremism, with 11 of the 19 9/11 hijackers having cycled through the area.

    As of this writing we have not been able to probe the manner in which Zakkout was vetted by DHS but under any reasonable interpretation of the funding requirements combined with Zakkout's long history as a radical Muslim we believe that process failed in a most fundamental way.

    Zakkout served for a time as the vice president of the HRCP, Health Resource Center Palestine, which was closed down for because of links to the terrorist group Hamas. In an April 3 interview with PipeLineNews.org, he denied any association with HRCP.

    However, contrary to Zakkout's claim, according to archived internet records that we have obtained, Zakkout was listed as the VP of HRCP from April 24, 2000 through December 28, 2000 on various iterations of the organization's website.

    We have reconstructed, using as much of the original html coding possible, two HRCP website pages, which are reproduced in the below linked documents.

    Zakkout listed as V.P of HRCP

    HRCP website with hyperlinks to the Islamic Association for Palestine [IAP] and Free Palestine, both Hamas front groups

    In 2004 Zakkout's organization AMANA issued the following press release demonstrating his loyalty to Hamas.

    22 March 2004

    Press Release

    The American Muslim Association of North America, AMANA Condemns Israel's Terror Assassination of Shaykh Ahmad Yasin The American Muslim Association of North America, AMANA condemns in the strongest terms Israel's terror assassination of Shaykh Ahmad Isma'il Yasin, the renowned Islamic scholar and founder of the leading Palestinian Resistance Movement - Hamas which where established to free the Palestinian territories against the illegal occupation by Israelis.

    "This evil act of state terrorism against an old and disabled man is outrageous. As Shaykh Ahmad Isma'il Yasin was leaving the mosque after the morning prayers, an Israeli helicopter missile launch killed him and enraged the entire region with vows of revenge.

    "We hold the international community directly responsible for allowing the Israeli Occupation Forces to continue with its policy of wanton killing and terrorizing of Palestinian civilians. No amount of military force and assassinations will bring about a Final Solution to the Palestinian dehumanization and continued oppression.

    The American Muslim Association calls upon our US Government and its partners in the European Union to take immediate and effective measures to bring about an end to Israel's decades-long illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories and uphold the rule of international law. The double standards being employed in the so-called "War on Terror" are not only counterproductive, but with these recent terrorist attacks, it will not bring peace to the region or peace to the civilized world.

    We also demand criminal charges brought against Sharon and his terror regime who planed the assassination of Shaykh Ahmad Isma'il Yasin and other innocent civilians who are being killed every day under the Israeli occupation forces.

    Our hearts, prayers and condolences go out to the Palestinian people in their struggle to live in peace, dignity and freedom in their own homeland.

    The American Muslim Association of North America, AMANA, has a long history of promoting peace and justice for all. Trough our campaign to stop the killing of Muslim, Jewish and Christian civilians in our messages and in our website. http://www.al-amana/gallery.php

    The American Muslim Association of North America, AMANA.

    Proudly Serving the U. S. Communities Since 1992

    Zakkout's associations provide additional and persuasive evidence that he is an Islamist.

    In a November 2006 Front Page Magazine story, "Imams Gone Wild," [http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=EC42CC43-AAB3-403D-8FCD-3B16ED19C93B] Paul Sperry demonstrated Zakkout's penchant for assisting radical co-religionists, in the first case below his providing bail for an imam friend [Hamman] who had repeatedly and violently groped a Delta airlines stewardess, and in the second case showing his personal friendship with South Florida's Shukrijumah family, whose son, Adnan, is a highly placed al-Qaeda terrorist.

    "As authorities questioned him, Hamman acted like he couldn't speak any English. The Miami-Dade Police Department took him into custody where he was booked the next day for felony battery, the police report says. Delta did not press charges, however, and kept the incident from the press.

    US Airways, which has been flooded with positive calls from customers for its stand against the six obnoxious imams, is poised to take over Delta in a proposed merger, making it the nation's largest carrier.

    A local Muslim leader bailed the violent groper sheikh out of jail. Authorities say a man named Sofian Abdelaziz (aka Sofian Zakout, aka Sofian Abdelaziz-Zakout, aka Sofian Zakkout) representing the American Muslim Association of North America, or AMANA, posted bond for the 35-year-old Hamman, who was visiting Florida during Ramadan. Abdelaziz-Zakkout, a Kuwaiti native, was his trip sponsor.

    He's also a radical Islamic activist who is a close personal friend of the notorious Shukrijumahs of South Florida, a Saudi family whose son, Adnan, is an al-Qaida operative thought to be in line to head an encore attack on America. The FBI calls him "the next Mohamed Atta." His late father was a local Wahhabi imam on the Saudi payroll.

    Not surprisingly, Abdelaziz-Zakkout recently defended an accused al-Qaida confederate of Adnan Shukrijumah at his trial. He also opposed the U.S. strikes on Afghanistan after 9/11, and the U.S. assassination of al-Qaida terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq."

    With this type of record, it should come as no surprise that Zakkout's duplicity is constantly on display. The initial reason for our April 3 interview was to ask him about a claim that he had made regarding a then upcoming AMANA festival which was held on April 7.

    The poster for that event listed a Florida Army recruiting office as a sponsor. Curious as to why the U.S. Army would be associating with such an individual we contacted the specified recruiting center and were told by the officer in charge that he had never spoken to Zakkout, was not aware of his organization, did not know who he was and were not going to the event.

    Such seemingly simple matters speak volumes demonstrating a clear intent to deceive.

    Without further information from DHS, which we are seeking, it is impossible to know exactly why the review of Zakkout's grant went the way that it did. By what stretch of the imagination a U.S. mosque might ever come under attack - "at high risk of terrorist attack," in the parlance of the agency's own guidelines - by such groups as al-Qaeda is hard to conceive and the absence of such a threat entirely negates the appropriateness of this DHS UASI Non-Profit Security Grant.

    Compounded by Zakkout's long history of radical Islamic activity, one must conclude that a serious error was made here, which will hopefully never again be duplicated.

    Another aspect of this matter, perhaps even more damaging than the simple misappropriation of homeland security funds is that this award will give Zakkout and his two groups AMER and AMANA, increased credibility, something in high demand among domestic Islamist organizations which are continually striving to present themselves as anything but what they actually are, committed jihadists at war with the West. These hard-core fundamentalists look upon the type of action that DHS took in this case as a public relations gold mine, and use it to approach other governmental agencies, private institutions and religious organizations, offering it as validation of their claims of moderation.

    Understanding this is key to understanding the nuance and subtlety involved in the dialectic of stealth jihad, we ignore it at our peril. http://www.pipelinenews.org/index.cfm?page=zakkout4.7.08.htm

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