~For those unfamiliar with my old friend Sami, I bring you some background. Sami was a personal pet project of mine that I’m proud to say was a a successful investigation/research and how/when I met Steve Emerson.
A bit of a background on Sami:
Former professor at the University of South Florida
North American head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad
Active in the Islamic Society of North America, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the American Muslim Council, the American Muslim Alliance, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations
Co-founded the World and Islam Studies Enterprise
Created the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom
Former Chairman of the Islamic Academy of Florida
He’s been on house arrest for nearly four years, but the inability to be in the spotlight may constitute cruel and unusual punishment for Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) operative Sami Al-Arian.
A website called The Islamist posted what it says is the complete text of a statement the former University of South Florida professor and PIJ governing board member made via Skype Wednesday. In it, the man who created and ran the “active arm” of the terrorist group in North America and sheltered its current leader, decries his “persecution” and laments the plight of others convicted of supporting terrorist groups such as Hamas and al-Qaida.
* Fawaz Damrah
The speech marks “my first public address in the U. S. in over nine years,” he says, and comes despite attorneys’ advice not to make public statements. “Nothing short of our very survival as free people living in a free and democratic society is at stake,” he says, casting America as a security state in the wake of 9/11 law enforcement actions.
“We, as a community, are at the forefront in the fight to reclaim the foundations and principles that established this great country.”
Al-Arian still faces a criminal contempt indictment issued in June 2008, after he repeatedly refused to testify before a federal grand jury investigating terror financing in northern Virginia. His argument that his 2006 guilty plea to providing goods and services to the PIJ meant he would never have to provide information to the government, be it voluntarily or under court order. The judge who sentenced him in Tampa, along with a separate judge in Alexandria and their respective circuit courts of appeal, all rejected that claim.
His attorneys have never produced any written evidence backing up the claim. It is not mentioned in his plea agreement, and when asked at in a hearing whether his plea was based on any additional promises, he said, “I don’t recall anything else.”
“You think anybody has attempted to trick you?” the judge asked.
“No,” Al-Arian said.
The case has been frozen in limbo, however, by U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema’s refusal to rule on defense motions to dismiss the contempt case despite repeated promises to deliver a written order as far back as the spring of 2009.
To Al-Arian, they remain “Innocent people [who] are targeted and their families are suffering because of their beliefs, opinions, associations, and advocacy. All first amendment activities- supposedly guaranteed by the US constitution.
President Obama said if he had a son he would have looked like Trayvon Martin. Let me tell you, all our sons look like Ahmad Abu Ali, Ziad Yaghi, and Tarek Mehanna.”
Rashid Hussain, Sami Al-Arian & the OIC
Feb 23, 2010:
Frank Gaffney on Fox News with Daveed Gardenstein-Ross of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies discussing the controversy surrounding Rashid Hussain, Obama’s Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Fox News, Politico and others have unraveled the story of Hussein’s vocal support for convicted terrorist-fundraiser Sami Al-Arian. Even more troubling, however, is Hussein’s writing; in a paper for the Brookings Institution, he promoted staid Muslim Brotherhood deceptions and dissembling with regards to Islamic law, Shariah and the Koran.
Sami al-Arian to be deported April 17, 2006
Guest: Steve Emerson, terrorism expert
The Factor previously investigated the suspected terrorist ties of Sami Al-Arian, a former professor at the University of South Florida. Al-Arian was acquitted on eight counts of aiding terrorists, but the jury deadlocked on nine other charges. He has now agreed to plead guilty to one count and will be deported, which terror expert Steve Emerson proclaimed a victory against a serious threat. “This felony count shows that Al-Arian knowingly provided assistance and services to Palestine Islamic Jihad, a terrorist group. He deposited money into bank accounts associated with the group, and this gives lie to the denials he has been issuing all these years.” Emerson praised The Factor for bringing Sami Al-Arian to national attention. “He was associated with bringing the top level terrorists into the United States. He wasn’t a low level guy, and you should feel very good about yourself.”
By Andrew C. McCarthy September 3, 2008: Willful Blindness: Sami al-Arian Released on Bail
September 3, 2008: Al-Arian Is Freed, but More Charges Await
Sami Al-Arian indictments and trial