Mousa Abu MarzookIn the late 1980s and early 1990s, Musa Abu Marzook was in the United States, investing with GOP connected individuals and companies, who like himself, would later be named Special Designated Global Terrorist. Marzook is the political leader of Hamas, a Palestinian group that carries out suicide bombings in Israel and was designated by the U.S. as a terrorist organization in 1995 and won control of the Palestinian government in January 2006. Marzook has spoken out in favor of suicide bombings, and the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), which he helped found, is one of several groups held responsible for the death of an American who was shot and killed by Hamas members in Jerusalem in 1996. Other domestic organizations that Marzook invested in or founded include not only those officially designated as terrorist entities, but also the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an advocacy group that is the mainstream media’s first call on Muslim issues despite recent convictions of several of its alumni.
In the U.S., Marzook moved from city to city on an educational visa and had amassed $3 million by the time the feds began tracking him in 1989. The Justice Department would eventually claim that he was looking to recruit associates with "chemical materials, toxins, physics, military education and knowledge of computers." Marzook founded IAP in the U.S. and donated $210,000 to start the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) in Richardson, Texas. Federal officials accused both organizations of being fronts for Hamas, and HLF was labeled a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) organization just weeks after September 11, 2001. In 2005, a jury in a federal civil trial found IAP liable for the death of 17-year-old David Boim, an American who was shot and killed in Jerusalem by Hamas gunmen.
In the early 1990s, Marzook invested over $1 million in a Maryland real estate development. Three relatives of Osama Bin Laden also invested, as did Solomon Biheiri of New Jersey bank Beit ul-Mal Holdings (BMI). The feds claimed Biheiri started BMI as part of an international terror financing network, but they never convicted him of terror-related charges. They did, however convict him of lying about his business relationship with Marzook; prosecutors requested a long sentence, but he got one year.
Terror researchers and prosecutors have accused other BMI investors of financing terror. Yassin al-Qadi, an SDGT who funneled $3 million to Al Qaeda, invested $820,000 with BMI in 1993, according to an FBI affidavit cited in Congressional testimony. An accountant with BMI called the FBI in 1999 to suggest that BMI had transferred money overseas to support the bombing by Al Qaeda of two U.S. embassies in East Africa.
One BMI investor accused of terror funding has direct ties to the nexus of GOP corruption in Washington, D.C. Saleh Kamel once hired Jack Abramoff—a GOP super-lobbyist now in prison for bribery and corruption charges that reach deep into the halls of Congress—as a lobbyist. Abramoff once arranged for a meeting in Dubai between Kamel and the Chairman of the Judiciary committee, Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. Kamel appears in an online version of the “Golden Chain,” a document found in Bosnia in 2002 that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald introduced in court as a list of Osama Bin Laden’s top 20 financiers. U.S. authorities accused Kamel of heading a Sudanese bank used by Al Qaeda. Kamel invested $500,000 in BMI through his Saudi investment company, Dallah al Baraka Group (DBG). Jean-Charles Brisard, a French terror researcher, accused Saleh of being a major Al Qaeda funder.
One multimillion dollar investment in BMI came from a network of Muslim companies and charities in Herndon, Virginia that were raided by the feds in 2002 in the largest domestic terror financing investigation in history. This network, known as the “Safa Group,” also had direct ties to the effort led by Republican power broker Grover Norquist to shepherd Muslim voters into the GOP. One of the founders of a Safa Group company called Sana-Bell invested $3.7 million with BMI. The terror financing investigation, which was dissolved during a turf battle between the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, only produced one major conviction out of the Northern Virginia raids: a 23-year sentence for Abdurrahman Alamoudi, the founder of the American Muslim Council.
Alamoudi is Marzook’s connection to the Safa Group. In the 2002 raid, the feds found a memo in Arabic at Alamoudi’s home regarding large transactions with Hamas, anti-Israel operations, and a note reading “met Mousa Abu Marzook in Jordan.” From 1985 to 1990, Alamoudi was the assistant to the president of a Safa Group entity called SAAR. Until about 2003, Alamoudi was one of the most visible public advocates for American Muslims, and he was welcomed with open arms in Washington. In 2000, he was photographed at the Texas governor’s mansion with a campaigning George W. Bush, and he appeared at a prayer service with President Bush three days after 9/11. He also did consulting for the Pentagon and donated $10,000 to help launch the Islamic Free Market Institute, which was founded by Khaled Saffuri, a former Alamoudi deputy at American Muslim Council (AMC), and Grover Norquist, a close friend of Jack Abramoff and President George W. Bush. Alamoudi fell out of favor in Washington after he declared his support for Hezbollah and Hamas right in front of the White House…on camera. The Islamic Institute returned his contribution in 2001, and Alamoudi is now serving 23 years in prison for terrorist funding and involvement in a Libyan plot to assassinate the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. The U.S. Treasury says he directed $1 million to a group providing material support to Al Qaeda.
Marzook is connected to another mainstream American Muslim organization: the Council for American-Islamic Relations. CAIR, founded in 1994, grew out of Marzook’s IAP, and several top CAIR officials, including founders Omar Ahmed and Nihad Awad, were IAP executives. CAIR appears frequently in the news as an anti-defamation advocate for Muslims. Its communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, is a former employee of IAP and has publicly supported the non-violent Islamization of America under Shari’a law. Several former CAIR associates were investigated or convicted on terror charges. Randall Royer, a former communications specialist for CAIR, was convicted in 2004 of participating in a Virginia-based “jihad network” that trained at paintball courses. The FBI investigated Bassem Khafagi, a CAIR community affairs director, for terror activity, but only convicted him for passing bad checks and falsifying immigration information. (CAIR says he was an “independent contractor, not an employee.”) Rabih Haddad, who once spoke at a CAIR chapter dinner, co-founded the Global Relief Foundation, which was accused of supporting Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda and was designated SDGT. When Haddad’s visa expired, a federal judge found him to be a “substantial risk to U.S. national security” and deported him to Lebanon.
It was CAIR that protested publicly in 1996 when Marzook languished in a Manhattan jail awaiting extradition to Israel for charges related to bombings that killed dozens of civilians. When Israel—fearing Hamas reprisals—withdrew the request for extradition, Marzook found himself in bureaucratic limbo. Confusing and arcane immigration and terror regulations made it seem that the U.S. could hold him indefinitely. Eventually Jordan welcomed him.
In 2002, United States indicted Marzook, along with several brothers from Richardson, Texas who owned a computer shop called INFOCOM, on terror-related charges. Marzook invested in INFOCOM, which was illegally selling parts to Syria and Libya, both state sponsors of terrorism. Owner Ghassam Elashi—who started the Texas chapter of CAIR in 1998 and chaired the Holy Land Foundation—and his brothers pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and 10 counts of dealing in the property of an SDGT. Marzook was charged with “conspiring to violate U.S. laws that prohibit dealings in terrorist funds.”
Marzook was not here to face the indictment. He was in Syria acting as a political leader for Hamas, as he is believed to be today. Marzook claims that the political and military wings of Hamas are separate, and that his activities cleave entirely to the former. However, he also appeared on Lebanese television after a 1994 suicide bombing in Jerusalem to take credit for Hamas.
“Death,” he said regarding the bombing, “is a goal to every Muslim.”
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- http://select.nytimes.com/search/restricted/article?res=F50911F63A550C728CDDAC0894DF 494D81 May 1, 1997 Jordan to Let Terror Suspect Held in U.S. Into Kingdom By NEIL MACFARQUHAR
- http://www.hatefreeamerica.com/062104.htm Tangled Paths: A Sprawling Probe Of Terror Funding Centers in Virginia; U.S. Tries to Tie Maze of Firms, Charities Based in Herndon Into a Global Network; Bin Laden's 'Golden Chain' By GLENN R. SIMPSON Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, June 21, 2004; Page A1