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For The Record  

FTR #515 Update on the GOP/Islamist Connection

Recorded June 12, 2005
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NB: This stream contains both FTRs 514 and 515 in sequence. Each is a 30 minute broadcast.

Beginning with news of GOP bigwig Grover Norquist’s marriage to an observant Palestinian Muslim woman, the program brings up to date ongoing discussion of the strong connections between George Bush’s GOP and the very Islamist forces he professes to be fighting. Norquist and Karl Rove were instrumental in setting up the Islamic Institute—a point of intersection between the GOP and the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorist organizations Al Qaeda and Hamas. Norquist’s bride worked for his Islamic Institute and now works for the U.S. Agency for International Development, a governmental department that often works with the intelligence community. This program also entertains the [unconfirmed possibility] that Norquist has converted to Islam. Legal investigation into the GOP/Islamist connection began with the case of Sami al-Arian, the North American leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot. A close associate of George Bush’s, al-Arian had Norquist as his lobbyist. This broadcast examines the fact that the present legal case against al-Arian is weak because of the expiration of the statute of limitations on the acts in which he is known to have participated. The authorities can only charge him with conspiracy, and his primary co-conspirators are not in the country. The program concludes with discussion of Paul Wolfowitz’s romance with an Arab woman from Saudi Arabia.

Program Highlights Include: Review of the connections between the investigation into Sami al-Arian and the targets of the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002; review of the links between al-Arian and the Al Taqwa milieu; the role of Wolfowitz’s new paramour in administering funds for Iraqi reconstruction.

1. Point man in the GOP’s Muslim outreach program, Grover Norquist’s recruits into the GOP include many Islamofascists connected to terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as the al-Taqwa milieu of Youssef Nada. Norquist has apparently married a Palestinian Muslim woman and may have converted to Islam himself! (For more about Norquist’s links to Islamists, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 356, 357, 415, 425, 435, 454, 455, 462, 467, 514.) “Is Grover Norquist an Islamist? Paul Sperry, author of the new book, Infiltration, in an interview calls Grover Norquist ‘an agent of influence for Islamists in Washington.’ When asked by FrontPageMag.com why a Republican anti-tax lobbyist should so passionately promote Islamist causes, Sperry implied that Norquist has converted to Islam: ‘He’s marrying a Muslim, and when I asked Norquist if he himself has converted to Islam, he brushed the question off as too personal.’ As Lawrence Auster comments on this exchange, ‘Clearly, if Norquist hadn’t converted to Islam, or weren’t in the process of doing so, he would simply have answered no.’”
(“Is Grover Norquist an Islamist?;” by Daniel Pipes; Weblog [of Daniel Pipes]; 4/14/2005.)

2. “Indeed, Norquist married Samah Alrayyes, a Palestinian Muslim, on April 2, 2005, and Islamic law limits a Muslim woman to marrying a man who is Muslim. This is not an abstract dictum but a very serious imperative, with many ‘honor’ killings having resulted from a woman ignoring her family’s wishes.” (Idem.)

3. Note that Norquist’s new wife worked for his Islamic Institute and now works for the Agency for International Development, a branch of the government that frequently works with intelligence agencies. Is she another part of the Underground Reich/Islamofascist Fifth Column that exists in this country? “Alrayyes has radical Islamic credentials of her own; she served as communications director at the Islamic Free Market Institute, the Islamist organization Norquist helped found. Now, she is employed as a public affairs officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development, and so it appears that yet another Islamist finds employment in a branch of the U.S. Government.” (Idem.)

4. “Norquist has for some years now been promoting Islamist organizations, including even the Council on American-Islamic Relations; for example, he spoke at CAIR’s conference, ‘A Better America in a Better World’ on October 5, 2004. Frank Gaffney has researched Norquist’s ties to Islamists in his exhaustive, careful, and convincing study, ‘Agent of Influence’ and concludes that Norquist is enabling ‘a political influence operation to advance the causes of radical Islamists, and targeted most particularly at the Bush Administration.’ But if Norquist is indeed a convert to Islam, it could be that he is not just enabling the Islamist causes but is himself an Islamist. (April 14, 2005)” (Idem.)

5. Among the Islamists that have wormed their way into the GOP’s ethnic outreach organization is Sami al-Arian. (The investigation into Sami al-Arian led to the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002. For more about the targets of the raids, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 356, 357, 382, 415, 423, 425, 432, 433, 435, 454, 455, 456, 473, 514.) Al-Arian’s trial is underway, with the lapse of time threatening the integrity of the case. Although al-Arian’s monitored communications revealed his strong operational links to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood), the statute of limitations has expired on possible indictments. Only charges of conspiracy could be brought at this time, and the figures with whom he conspired are out of the U.S. “Three co-defendants of accused terrorist leader Sami al-Arian, a former Florida university professor on trial here, staunchly deny any connection to the Palestinian terrorist group at the heart of the case, their lawyers said in court Tuesday. . . . There is a vast discrepancy between the gravity and detail in the charges against al-Arian, and those against the other three on trial, whom the prosecution calls rank-and-file members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) organization, which sponsors suicide attacks on Israelis, according to court documents.”
(“Co-Defendants in Fla. Deny Ties to Conspiracy” by John Mintz; The Washington Post; 6/8/2005; p. 1.)

6. “Some defense attorneys said outside the courtroom in recent days that the three defendants—Ballut, former university student Sameeh Taha Hammoudeh and Illinois charity manager Hatim Maji Fariz—were swept into the case because of prosecutors’ need to build a criminal case of conspiracy—in this case, conspiracy to kill and maim hundreds of Israelis since the 1980’s. Legal experts said that the U.S. government had little choice but to craft a conspiracy case. The vast bulk of their evidence, derived from years of secret wiretaps and monitoring of faxes, centers on the early to mid-1990s, before al-Arian’s offices and home were searched and he became more circumspect over the telephone.” (Ibid.; pp. 1-2.)

7. Again, with the statute of limitations having expired, the only charge that could be leveled against al-Arian is conspiracy. As mentioned above, the figures with whom h

e conspired are not available to stand trial with him. That, coupled with the “accidental” destruction of documents discussed below may threaten the integrity of the government’s case. Bear in mind that al-Arian was an associate of Bush and was of great assistance in helping Bush carry Florida. “But the statute of limitations allows the prosecution to charge someone for crimes going back only five years—unless the charge is conspiracy, in which case the government can bring in allegations going back decades, as it has done in this trial. [Emphasis added.] The problem for the prosecution, defense attorneys said, is that those secretly monitored wiretaps and faxes show al-Arian discussing intimate details of PIJ’s operations not with his three co-defendants but with five other men.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

8. “All of those five men were top PIJ leaders with al-Arian for years, U.S. prosecutors said, and all of them have been charged with him with conspiracy to murder—but they are overseas and will not be tried in this case. Defense attorneys and criminal lawyers who have observed the case said the government was in a jam—how could it put on a trial for criminal conspiracy and have only one conspirator at the defense table?” (Idem.)

9. “The three defendants on trial with al-Arian are basically stage props,’ said Steve Crawford, a former federal prosecutor who has followed the case and who recently represented Hammoudeh’s wife on an unrelated fraud charge. ‘The government didn’t have enough of the big guns [from PIJ] here to give a visual showing of a conspiracy, so they sweep in the poor mopes at the bottom.’” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

10. Note that there is abundant evidence against al-Arian and company, but the statute of limitations has expired. In that context, recall John Loftus’ frustration at the failure of the FBI and related agencies to pursue the al-Arian milieu and the Saudi/Muslim Brotherhood backed 555 Grove Street nexus. (There is good discussion of this in FTR#’s 473, 514.) “Defense lawyers and prosecutors declined to comment. U.S. District Judge James Moody has barred them from speaking about the case outside the courtroom. The five overseas defendants who are not on trial now were caught in hundreds of phone calls and faxes discussing the key strategic issues then facing PIJ—deep internal struggles, the disappearances of millions of dollars, how to placate its angry financial backers in the Iranian government, and whether to merge with the Islamic Resistance Movement, a competing militant Palestinian group.” (Idem.)

11. “The five are Ramadan Shallah, who worked at an al-Arian think tank at the University of South Florida and who now runs PIJ from Syria; Abd al Aziz Awda, PIJ’s original spiritual leader; al-Arian’s brother-in-law, Mazen al-Najjar; leading Muslim scholar Bashir Nafi; and Muhammed Tasir al-Khatib, the group’s alleged treasurer. . . .” (Idem.)

12. The program reviews information from FTR#464 about al-Arian’s relationship to George W. Bush. “On March 12, 2000, Bush and his wife, Laura, met with more Muslim leaders at a local mosque in Tampa, Florida. Among them was Sami Al-Arian, a Kuwaiti-born Palestinian who was an associate professor of engineering at the University of South Florida. . . . But Al-Arian had unusual credentials for a Bush campaigner. Since 1995, as the founder and chairman of the board of World and Islam Enterprise (WISE), a Muslim think tank, Al-Arian had been under investigation by the FBI for his associations with Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian terrorist group. Al-Arian brought in Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, the number-two leader in Islamic Jihad, to be the director of WISE. A strong advocate of suicide bombings against Israel, Shallah was allegedly responsible for killing scores of Israelis in such attacks.”
(House of Bush/House of Saud; by Craig Unger; Scribner [HC]; Copyright 2004 by Craig Unger; ISBN 0-7432-5337-X; pp. 206-207.)

13. More about al-Arian’s associates: “Al-Arian also brought to Tampa as a guest speaker for WISE none other than Hassan Turabi, the powerful Islamic ruler of Sudan who had welcomed Osama bin Laden and helped nurture al Qaeda in the early nineties. . . .Nor were those Al-Arian’s only ties to terrorists. According to American Jihad by Steven Emerson, in May 1998 a WISE board member named Tarik Hamdi personally traveled to Afghanistan to deliver a satellite telephone and battery to Osama bin Laden. In addition, Newsweek reported that Al-Arian had ties to the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. Among his claims to fame, the magazine said, Al-Arian had ‘made many phone calls to two New York-area Arabs who figured in the World Trade Center bombing investigation.’” (Ibid.; p. 207.)

14. “There were also Al-Arian’s own statements. In 1998, he appeared as a guest speaker before the American Muslim Council. According to conservative author Kenneth Timmerman, Al-Arian referred to Jews as ‘monkeys and pigs’ and added, ‘Jihad is our path. Victory to Islam. Death to Israel. Revolution! Revolution! Until victory! Rolling, rolling to Jerusalem!’ That speech was part of a dossier compiled on al-Arian by federal agents who have had him under surveillance for many years because of suspected ties to terrorist organizations. In videotape in that file, al-Arian was more explicit. When he appeared at a fund-raising event, Timmerman says, he ‘begged for $500 to kill a Jew.’” (Idem.)

15. “Al-Arian would be arrested in Florida in February 2003 on dozens of charges, among them conspiracy to finance terrorist attacks that killed more than one hundred people—including two Americans. The indictment alleged that ‘he directed the audit of all moneys and property of the PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] throughout the world and was the leader of the PIJ in the United States.’ The charges refer to the Islamic Jihad as ‘a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in acts of violence including murder, extortion, money laundering, fraud, and misuse of visas, and operated worldwide including in the Middle District of Florida.’ Al-Arian was still facing prosecution in December 2003.” (Ibid.; p. 208.)

16. Next, the program reviews information about how the investigation into al-Arian led to the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002. Those raids stemmed from investigations into the overlapping SAAR network and Safa Group. (This information is also reprised from FTR#464.) “The raid on al-Arian led to the Safa Group. The FBI found letters documenting Safa entities’ financial support of al-Arian to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars a year. In a September 7, 1993, letter, Safa Group leaders told one al-Arian-led group: ‘We consider you a part of us and an extension of us and we as a part of you,’ adding that their financial donation of tens of thousands of dollars was ‘for you as a group, regardless of the party or façade you use the donation for.’” (Blood from Stones: The Secret Financial Network of Terror; by Douglas Farah; Broadway Books [HC] {subsidiary of Random House}; Copyright 2004 by Douglas Farah; ISBN 0-7679-15262-3; p. 159.)

17. Note that among the GOP bigwigs extending their welcome to al-Arian was Karl Rove. “But the al-Arian and Safa Group investigations languished. In the 2000 ele

ctions al-Arian supported George W. Bush, urging Muslims to vote Republican as the best hope of ending discrimination against Arab-Americans. Al-Arian and his family were photographed with a beaming Bush and his wife, Laura, during a Florida campaign stop. Al-Arian liked to boast that he had delivered ‘considerably more’ than the 537 votes that gave Bush his victory in Florida and allowed him to capture the White House. On June 20, 2001, al-Arian was invited to the White House as part of a large delegation of Muslims to be briefed by presidential adviser Karl Rove.” (Idem.)

18. Bush associate Talat Othman, a director of Norquist’s Islamic Institute, went to bat on behalf of the targets of the Operation Green Quest raids of 2002. “In 2002, during the presidency of George W. Bush, Othman again won access to the White House and met with Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill to discuss U.S. government raids on Muslim charities that were allegedly funding terror.”
(House of Bush/House of Saud; by Craig Unger; Scribner [HC]; Copyright 2004 by Craig Unger; ISBN 0-7432-5337-X; p. 125.)

19. Is it a “coincidence” that federal employees in Tampa “accidentally” destroyed key paperwork in the al-Arian case?! “ . . . In December 2003, clerks at a federal courthouse in Tampa accidentally destroyed search warrants in the Al-Arian case. The documents contained affidavits from federal agents that supported 1995 searches of Al-Arian’s home and offices and were among thousands of documents shredded sometime between 1998 and 2002. As this book went to press, there were serious questions as to whether the destruction of the documents might affect his prosecution.” (Ibid.; p. 208.)

20. The program notes the significant overlaps between the SAAR network, the Safa Trust and the Al Taqwa network. (For more about the Al Taqwa/SAAR/Safa Trust link, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 356, 357, 382, 415, 423, 425, 432, 433, 435, 454, 455. For more about the Norquist links to the targets of Operation Green Quest, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 356, 357, 415, 425, 435, 454, 455, 462, 467, 514.) Again, the discovery of these links stemmed from the investigation into al-Arian. “ . . . Operation Green Quest was launched in October 2001 as part of the Customs Service initiative to track bin Laden’s financial empire. In a small, windowless conference room Green Quest agents charted the Byzantine relationships among the more than one hundred Safa network entities, a spiderweb of overlapping names and organizations. Green Quest investigators also charted the relationship among the Safa network entities and the Muslim Brotherhood through the Al Taqwa Management empire of Yousef Nada. U.S. officials said they had tracked about $20 million from Safa entities flowing through Nada’s Bank al Taqwa, but said the total could be much higher.”
(Blood from Stones; pp. 154-155.)

21. More about the links between Al Taqwa, Safa, SAAR and the al-Arian/Norquist/Bush milieu: “The ties between Nada and Safa leaders were many and long-standing, as were their ties to other Brotherhood leaders. Two members of the Safa Group helped set up Bank al Taqwa in the Bahamas and several Safa leaders loaned Nada money. In 1976, two other men who later became prominent in the Safa Group founded Nada International, a Brotherhood bank in Liechtenstein. For a time, Sulaiman Abdul al Rajhi, the SAAR Foundation founder, worked for Nada at that bank. Nada International was designated a terrorist financier by the Treasury Department after 9/11. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 155.)

22. The broadcast concludes with discussion of Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz’s romance with a Tunisian woman who was raised in Saudi Arabia. Employed by the World Bank, Ms. Riza has been significantly involved with Iraqi reconstruction—a major source of corporate and governmental corruption. (It should be noted that there is no indication that Ms. Riza is an Islamist.) It is interesting to note the neo-Nazi right and elements of the left have focused on Wolfowitz as the embodiment of the “Zionist Conspiracy” that the neo-Cons have allegedly perpetrated in Washington. Wolfowitz’s romance with Riza is an amusing negation of those charges. Wolfowitz is—in Mr. Emory’s considered opinion—a dog of the first order. He is not, however, part of some non-existent “Zionist” conspiracy. “Social Washington has been buzzing for months about the discreet romance between Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Shaha Riza, an Arab feminist and a communications adviser at the World Bank. Now that he’s been nominated to head the bank and their relationship has become public, some of Riza’s neighbors have become irked enough to dish.”
(“What Will the Neighbors Say? Wolfowitz Romance Stirs Gossip” by Richard Leiby; The Washington Post; 3/22/2005; P. C03.)

23. “This being Washington, there’s a political undercurrent to the gossip: Turns out that some Iraq war foes in the diplomat-heavy neighborhood south of American University don’t seem to appreciate that Wolfowitz regularly spends the night at Riza’s home. Two residents told us that Wolfowitz’s guards wait in a car outside until he departs early in the morning.” (Idem.)

24. “ ‘They kind of picked the wrong place, if they want to be private about it. I don’t know if it could be more public if it were on 16th and K streets,’ said one neighbor, who declined to be identified, citing a desire to maintain cordial relations with Riza. ‘It’s an international neighborhood and he’s the icon for a fabulously expensive tragic war. It’s the one thing we talk about now.’ . . .” (Idem.)

25. “ . . . Riza, an Oxford-educated British citizen, was born in Tunisia and grew up in Saudi Arabia. She’s known for her expertise on women’s rights and has been listed on the bank’s Web site as a media contact for Iraq reconstruction issues.” (Idem.)

Discussion

2 comments for “FTR #515 Update on the GOP/Islamist Connection”

  1. http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/norquist-calls-attacks-gop-congressman-disgusting-184647810.html

    Norquist calls attacks from GOP congressman ‘disgusting’
    By Chris Moody | The Ticket

    (AP) Conservative activist Grover Norquist responded to attacks from Virginia Republican Rep. Frank Wolf Tuesday, calling Wolf’s accusations that Norquist was connected to terrorists “disgusting” and saying they were copied from “racist websites.”

    Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, a group that has convinced all but six House Republicans to pledge never to raise taxes, has been sparring with with Wolf for some time. Norquist has refused to support a commission that would consider tax increases as a way to decrease the federal deficit–while Wolf has long supported a deficit-reduction plan that would combine spending reductions with tax hikes, a proposal Norquist has fought for decades.

    On the House floor Tuesday, Wolf accused Norquist of being associated with terrorist financiers, discussed his connection in 2006 to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and said that Norquist has used his organization’s pledge “to advance many other issues that many Americans would find inappropriate, and when taken as a whole should give people pause.”

    “Some staffer of his went onto the racist websites, you know, dug up stuff from ten years ago,” Norquist said in response to Wolf’s floor speech. “I’m married to a woman who’s Muslim, and it’s sad and it’s disgusting. It reflects poorly on him. I think given his district, he’s going to spend a lot of time apologizing for getting into the gutter and anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry. I suppose this staffer who got this stuff off websites did as much chucking as the idiots who put it forward.”

    Wolf submitted a detailed report to the official record that outlined his grievances with Norquist.
    “Documentation shows that he has deep ties to supporters of Hamas and other terrorist organizations that are sworn enemies of the United States and our ally Israel,” Wolf’s submitted statement read.

    Norquist fired back, calling Wolf’s comments “just a series of rants.”

    “It’s just silly,” Norquist said. “It’s just a series of rants that mean nothing and have no effect on anything, and are neither honorable or honest.”
    A spokesman for Wolf said the congressman stands by his remarks and intended to send a message to the members of his caucus who have associated themselves with Norquist.

    “There’s a clear pattern there,” Wolf spokesman Dan Scandling told The Ticket. “You need to look at who he’s associated with.”

    Posted by R. Wilson | October 4, 2011, 6:33 pm
  2. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/10/04/gop-rep-frank-wolf-grover-norquist-profits-from-unsavory-people/

    GOP Rep. Frank Wolf: Grover Norquist profits from ‘unsavory people’

    By Eric W. Dolan
    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Republican Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia on the House floor Tuesday attacked Grover Norquist and his anti-tax pledge, which has been signed by nearly every Republican in the House and Senate.

    “My conscience has compelled me to come to the floor today to voice concerns I have with the influence Grover Norquist, the president of the Americans for Tax Reform, has on the political process in Washington,” said Wolf, one of only six Republicans in the House to have not signed the pledge. “My issue is not with ATR’s goal of keeping taxes low.”

    Those who sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge vow to oppose any and all tax increases.

    “My concern is with the other individuals, groups, and causes with whom Mr. Norquist is associated that have nothing to do with keeping taxes low,” Wolf continued.

    He cited Norquist’s relationships with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and terrorist financier Sami Al-Arian, and his ties to Fannie Mae and the Internet gambling industry.

    “Simply put, I believe Mr. Norquist is connected with or has profited from a number of unsavory people and groups out of the mainstream,” the congressman said.

    “I also believe Mr. Norquist has used the ATR ‘pledge’ as leverage to advance other issues many Americans would find inappropriate, and when taken as a whole, should give people pause.”

    Wolf added that the anti-tax pledge — which demanded “ideological purity” — had paralyzed Congress so much that even discussion of tax reform was in gridlock.

    Posted by R. Wilson | October 4, 2011, 7:11 pm

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