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FTR #538 Bush’s Buddy—The Acquittal of Sammy the Aryan

Recorded December 11, 2005

Listen: MP3

Side 1 [1]  Side 2 [2]


REALAUDIO [3]

Introduction: Beginning with an interview with the remarkable John Loftus, this broadcast highlights the circumstances surrounding the acquittal of Sami al-Arian—a close political ally of George W. Bush. In addition to his close relationshio with Bush and other prominent Republicans, “Sammy the Aryan” is a leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a terrorist group and offshoot of the fascist Muslim Brotherhood. After reviewing the story of his lawsuit against al-Arian, and how that suit led to the Operations Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002, John Loftus discloses that Judge Moody made al-Arian’s acquittal a sure thing with his instructions to the jury. Judge Moody told the jury they must acquit, if the prosecution could not prove that the money al-Arian raised for PIJ was used to commit a terrorist act. After the interview with Mr. Loftus, the program reviews the al-Arian case, including his links to Bush, the GOP, the Muslim Brotherhood, and a milieu that financed al Qaeda. The broadcast reviews several other irregularities that led to the acquittal of al-Arian, a proven terrorist who was under the protective wing of the White House and the Republican Party, as well as the Saudi political and economic elite.

Program Highlights Include: Review of the “accidental” destruction of key documents in the al-Arian case; review of the fact that the statute of limitations had expired for many of the crimes with which al-Arian should have been charged; review of the fact that many of al-Arian’s criminal co-conspirators were outside of the reach of the federal government and could not be brought to trial; review of the links between Grover Norquist, Karl Rove, Bush business partner and political ally Talat Othman, the SAAR network, the Bank Al Taqwa (and its head–former Nazi spy Youssef Nada) and Sami al-Arian; al-Arian’s presence and activities in the United States as an extension of the doctrine set forth in The Project, discussed in FTR #537 [4].

[5] 1. An excellent way to begin this discussion is the presentation of a picture of a 4/15/2005 rally by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Muslim Brotherhood offshoot to which Sammi al-Arian belongs. (Al-Arian is referred to by Mr. Emory as “Sammy the Aryan”—a direct reference to the Nazi and fascist character of the Muslim Brotherhood.) Excused by Western apologists as a “democratic” group, the Muslim Brotherhood—including its branch organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad—is anything but democratic. Check out this picture, which reveals in stark fashion the true nature of the group to which “Sammy the Aryan” belongs.

2. Much of the first side of the program consists of an interview with John Loftus, the heroic former federal prosecutor and military officer whose work has figured prominently in these broadcasts over the years. (For more about Loftus, use the For The Record web site search function [6].) Much of the program involves a review by John of the history of the Muslim Brotherhood’s alliances with Nazi Germany, British intelligence, the CIA and Saudi Arabia. Again, the Muslim Brotherhood is the parent organization of Sami al-Arian’s Palestinian Islamic Jihad. John also reviews how his lawsuit against al-Arian led to the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002. (FTR#473 [7] contains a good synopsis of the major points of information contained in this part of the discussion.)

3. Discussing the acquittal of al-Arian, John noted that a wiretap of al-Arian’s telephone in 1989 recorded al-Arian bemoaning the fact that Hamas (a rival offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood) had taken public credit for a terrorist act that he had set up. Abundant evidence exists to prove al-Arian complicit in terrorism. MR. LOFTUS MAKES THE POINT THAT PRESIDING JUDGE MOODY CHARGED THE JURY IN A MANNER THAT MADE CONVICTION IMPOSSIBLE. MOODY INSTRUCTED THE JURY THAT, UNLESS THE PROSECUTION COULD PROVE THAT THE MONEY AL-ARIAN RAISED FOR PALESTINIAN ISLAMIC JIHAD WAS USED TO COMMIT TERRORIST ACTS (WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE), THEY HAD TO ACQUIT. Not surprisingly, the jury did not convict al-Arian. Other obstacles standing in the way of al-Arian’s prosecution will be discussed below. One should not lose sight of the fact that al-Arian was a close political ally of George W. Bush. In addition, the above-mentioned 3/20/2002 Operation Green Quest raids revealed that al-Arian was part of the SAAR network, itself very close to the GOP and the White House. This will be discussed below as well. (For more about the GOP/SAAR/Muslim Brotherhood/al-Arian connection, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 415 [8], 435 [9], 454 [10], 462 [11], 464 [12], 467 [13], 495 [14], 500 [15], 515 [16].)

4. In addition to Judge Moody’s unimaginable instructions to the jury, al-Arian’s acquittal was assured by the fact that the statute of limitations had expired for many of the crimes with which he might have been charged. On top of that, his co-conspirators in his long terrorist career were out of the country and could not be brought to trial in the U.S. In his discussion of the al-Arian case, John Loftus notes the extent to which the federal authorities refused to bring charges against al-Arian, and—beyond that—the SAAR network, to which he belonged. That delay had much to do with al-Arian’s acquittal. (As will be seen below, that network was directly linked to George W. Bush’s powerful Saudi friends, as well as to Bush, the GOP and top Republican operatives Grover Norquist and Karl Rove.)

“ . . . Some defense attorneys said outside the courtroom in recent days that the three defendants—Ballut, former university student Sameeh Taha Hammoudeh and Ilinois 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.”

(“Co-Defendants in Fla. Deny Ties to Conspiracy” by John Mintz; The Washington Post; 6/8/2005; pp. 1-2.) [17]

5. Note the role that the expiration of the statute of limitations played in this case:

“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.)

6. “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.)

7. “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.)

8. “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.)

9. “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.)

10. Another factor in the acquittal of Bush’s buddy Sami al-Arian was the fact that many of the conversations linking him to terrorism occurred before the official designation of Palestinian Islamic Jihad as a terrorist group in 1995. As will be seen below, another factor dictating the acquittal of Sammy the Aryan may well have been the “accidental” destruction of key documents by federal authorities.

“ . . . But much of the conversation and activity used by prosecutors predated the 1995 designation by the United States of Palestinian Islamic Jihad as a terrorist group, a designation that prohibited Americans from supporting it. Several legal analysts and law professors said Tuesday that the government appeared to have overreached in its case. . . .”

(“Ex-Professor Beats Terror Charges” by Eric Lichtblau [New York Times]; San Francisco Chronicle; 12/7/2005; p. A5.) [18]

11. In evaluating the acquittal of Bush’s Buddy, remember the role in these events of Harken Energy director (and political ally of George Bush Sr and George Bush Jr) Talat Othman. (Harken Energy was one of the younger Bush’s failed energy companies.) Othman gave a Muslim benediction at the Republican convention, and was a director of Grover Norquist’s Islamic Institute—a central element of the GOP’s connections to the world of Islamic terrorism. Norquist served as a lobbyist for many of the Islamists involved with the GOP milieu, including Sami al-Arian. Be sure to note Othman’s role in interceding with then Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill on behalf of the targets of the 3/20/2002 Operation Green Quest raids, which were spurred by John Loftus’s suit against al-Arian. (Othman’s intercession with O’Neill is discussed below, and in—among other programs—FTR#’s 356 [19], 357 [20], 376 [21], 454 [10], 462 [11], 464 [12], 467 [13].) The discussion reviews some of the Muslim terrorist links to Norquist, Bush and company.

“ . . . ‘The Al-Arian case was not a solitary lapse. . . . That outreach campaign opened relationships between the Bush campaign and some very disturbing persons in the Muslim-American community.’ Nevertheless, Norquist continued to build a coalition of Islamist groups to support Bush. On July 31, 2000, the Republican National Convention opened in Philadelphia with a prayer by a Muslim, Talat Othman, in which Othman offered a duaa, a Muslim benediction. It was the first time a Muslim had addressed any major U.S. political gathering. A third-generation American and a businessman from Chicago of Muslim-Arab descent, Othman was chairman of the Islamic Institute. He had also been the board member of Harken Energy representing the interests of Abdullah Taha Bakhsh, the Saudi investor who had helped Bush make his fortune by bailing out Harken in the late eighties. [Italics are Mr. Emory’s] When the convention ended on August 3, after George W. Bush had formally been nominated for president, between his family’s extended personal and financial ties to the House of Saud and his campaign’s ties to Islamists, it could be said that he was truly the Arabian Candidate. . . .”

(House of Bush/House of Saud; by Craig Unger; Scribner [HC]; Copyright 2004 by Craig Unger; ISBN 0-7432-5337-X; pp. 208-209.) [22]

12. Norquist’s Islamic Institute significantly overlapped individuals and institutions targeted in the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002. A summary account of those raids and the investigation into the SAAR foundation and the Safa trust follows: As will be seen below, Sami al-Arian was part and parcel to this milieu. Again, it was John Loftus’s lawsuit against al-Arian that precipitated these raids.

“ . . . In the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 20, 2002, 150 federal agents—many with their guns drawn—raided fourteen offices and homes in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. FBI and Customs agents loaded seven panel trucks with more than five hundred boxes of documents, computers, and financial records of more than one hundred charities, think tanks, and businesses affiliated with the Herndon, Virginia—based SAAR Foundation. Most of the interrelated businesses and charities were run out of a single office at 555 Grove Street, a brown brick and glass three-story office complex on a quiet street.”

(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. 152.) [23]

13. “The SAAR Foundation, the backbone of the cluster, takes its name from Sulaiman Abdul Aziz al Rajhi, head of one of Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest families, who funneled millions of dollars through the cluster of businesses and charities. The al Rajhi name was on the Golden Chain list of early al Qaeda supporters that was found in the Benevolence files in Sarajevo.”

(Ibid.; pp. 152-153.)

14. “The SAAR Foundation was incorporated in Herndon, Virginia, on July 29, 1983, and formally dissolved on December 28, 2000. However, many of the foundation’s functions were taken over by the Safa Trust, an organization registered at the same address and run by several of the same board members. Law enforcement officials dubbed the maze of the overlapping companies, with shared directors, the Safa Group. The groups often financed each other, sending the money in circles. The scores of Safa organizations are controlled by about fifteen Middle Eastern and Pakistani men who serve with each other on a host of institutional boards. Four senior leaders of the network are Iraqis who had lived in Saudi Arabia, and have been members of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

(Ibid.; p. 153.)

15. Note the role of Yaqub Mirza in the genesis of the organizations associated with SAAR and Safa Trust. Mirza was a key director of the Ptech firm, and reportedly had significant connections with the FBI. (For more about Mirza’s links with the FBI and Ptech, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 462 [24], 464 [25].)

“In the United States, the men used Saudi money to launch some of the nation’s leading Muslim organizations. In 1983, with money from the al Rajhi family, the SAAR Foundation was born. The director was Yaqub Mirza, a Pakistani native with a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas. Other groups were formed shortly afterward. Five of the top Safa executives live in spacious homes on adjoining lots in Safa Court in Herndon, a twenty-two-acre parcel of land bought by one of the SAAR-affiliated firms in 1987.”

(Idem.)

16. “In time, the Safa network owned or invested in scores of businesses worldwide: dairy farms in Zimbabwe; schools in Ivory Coast; a huge poultry business in the state of Georgia; an Islamic mutual fund in Washington state; an investment company in Malaysia; shell companies in Panama; and commercial apple orchards in Chile. By the late 1980’s, the SAAR Foundation had become one of the Washington, D.C., region’s biggest landlords. ‘The funds came very easily,’ said a businessman who dealt with SAAR. ‘If they wanted a few million dollars, they called the al Rajhis, who would send it along.’ At the same time, the leaders of the SAAR Foundation incorporated and sat on the boards of charities and nonprofit organizations. Many were branches of Saudi charities that operate worldwide. . . .”

(Ibid.; pp. 153-154.)

17. The program notes the significant overlaps between the SAAR network and the Al Taqwa network. (For more about the Al Taqwa/SAAR/Safa Trust link, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 356 [19], 357 [20], 382 [26], 415 [27], 423 [28], 425 [29], 432 [30], 433 [31], 435 [32], 454 [10], 455 [33]. For more about the Norquist links to the targets of Operation Green Quest, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 356 [19], 357 [20], 415 [27], 425 [29], 435 [32], 454 [10], 455 [33], 462 [11], 464 [12], 467 [13], 515 [16].)

“ . . . 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. [Emphasis added.]”

(Ibid.; pp. 154-155.)

18. “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.)

19. Do not fail to take note of the role in the SAAR/Safa Trust milieu of Cherif Sedky, a lawyer for Khalid bin Mahfouz. Like the bin Laden family, the bin Mahfouz family are business partners with the Bush family.

“ . . . SAAR lawyers said the $1.8 billion was reported because of a clerical error, despite the fact that the ten-digit number, $1,783, 545, 883, was repeated at least seven times on the form. Cherif Sedky, the foundation’s treasurer, said that he ‘did not recall’ that amount of money flowing through the company. . . . There is another thread in the Safa network that has drawn scrutiny from federal investigators, For the last five years of its existence, the treasurer of the SAAR Foundation, the group’s central entity, was Cherif Sedky, an American lawyer representing the al Rajhi family. Sedky is also the representative and business partner of Khalid bin Mahfouz, one of the wealthiest men in the world and longtime banker to the Saudi royal family. . . .”

(Ibid.; p. 156.)

20. The Operation Green Quest raids were triggered by a raid on the Sami al-Arian, the terrorist, supporter of Bush and associate of Norquist.

“ . . . The Safa Group might have escaped scrutiny in 2001, if not for a raid that occurred seven years earlier, leading to another thread of investigation. In 1995, the FBI raided the home and offices of Sami al-Arian, a Kuwaiti-Palestinian computer science professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa. The feds suspected al-Arian, a slight, bearded, and balding man, was secretly funneling money to terrorists. They believed he was a senior member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a group that unleashes suicide bombers against Israelis.”

(Ibid.; p. 158.)

21. More about Bush’s buddy:

“Al-Arian was a vocal activist on Palestinian causes, and he frequently spoke at Islamic conferences. At one 1991 conference, al-Arian, dressed in the flowing robes of an imam, was videotaped shouting in Arabic ‘Let us Damn America, let us damn Israel. Let us damn their allies until death.’ In the early 1990s, al-Arian set up organizations to raise money for orphans and widows and the study of Islam. He used the organizations to sponsor Muslim conferences, including one that featured Omar Abdul Rahman, the blind Sheik who instigated the 1993 World Trade Center attack.”

(Idem.)

22. “Al-Arian also sponsored the U.S. visa of Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, who joined al-Arian on the university faculty from 1992 to 1994. But Shallah suddenly disappeared in October 1995, immediately following the assassination of PIJ leader Fat’hi Ibrahim Shikaki. Shallah resurfaced a few days later at Shikaki’s funeral in Damascus, where the slain leader’s body was taken with full military honors. Shallah, standing by the casket, had been named Shikaki’s successor. Al-Arian said he was ‘shocked’ at Shallah’s ties to PIJ. But the FBI finally swooped in.”

(Ibid.; pp. 158-159.)

23. More about al-Arian and the Safa Group. Note that the monies flowing to al-Arian from the SAAR/Safa Group was sanctioned for use by al-Arian and company through different front groups. Compare this with the strategy proposed in the Muslim Brotherhood document The Project, discussed at the end of this description and at length in FTR#537 [4].

“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.’”

(Ibid.; p. 159.)

24. “But the al-Arian and Safa Group investigations languished. In the 2000 elections 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.)

25. 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. O’Neill was fired roughly seven months later.

“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; p. 125.) [22]

26. 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.)

27. In FTR#537 [4], we looked at The Project, a Muslim Brotherhood blueprint for infiltration and co-option of Western institutions by the Brotherhood. It is interesting to reflect on the information in that program, when evaluated against the background of a document seized in the raid of al-Arian’s residence. This document dovetails perfectly with the doctrine set forth in The Project. The establishment of the Islamic Institute, Norquist’s Palestinian wife [see FTR#515 [16]], the establishment of the SAAR network and Ptech are all consistent with this al-Arian document and The Project. Note that al-Arian is believed to be the author of this document. (The SAAR network was begun on 7/29/1983—The Project was dated December of 1982.)

“ . . . A document seized in a 1995 raid of a close Alamoudi friend and political ally, former University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian, outlined a plan to ‘infiltrate the sensitive intelligence agencies or the embassies in order to collect information and build close relationships with the people in charge of these establishments.’ The unsigned document, which authorities believe was authored by Al-Arian in part because it was found among his papers, added: ‘We are in the center which leads the conspiracy against our Islamic world . . . Our presence in North America gives us a unique opportunity to monitor, explore and follow up.’ It instructed members of the ‘center,’ thought to refer to an Islamic think tank that Al-Arian founded, to ‘collect information from those relatives and friends who work in sensitive positions in government.’ [Italics are Mr. Emory’s]. . . .”

(“How Secure is the Department of Homeland Security?” by Mary Jacoby; Salon.com; 6/22/2004; p. 3.) [34]