March 05, 2010

Debate Fact Check #1: Sami Al-Arian

THE TRUTH ABOUT…Tom’s connection to anti-Israel activists.

CLAIM:
Tom Campbell had no way to know about know Sami Al-Arian’s ties to terrorists.

FACT:
Al-Arian’s anti-Israel ideology has been well-known and well-documented since the late 1980s. He founded and was associated with multiple organizations with ties to a violent terror group known as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which is dedicated to annihilating Israel. In 1999, federal investigators searched Al-Arian’s offices and seized tapes showing Al-Arian calling for victory for Islam and death to Israel in 1991. PBS even aired a documentary about his ties to the Islamic Jihad in 1994.

Federal Investigators Searched The Offices Of Al-Arian As They Moved In To Identify Connections Between ICP, WISE And Islamic Jihad. “FBI and INS agents swept through the offices of WISE and the home and USF offices of Sami Al-Arian on Nov. 20 and 21. They seized thousands of documents, letters, magazines, computer files and videotapes. In affidavits to obtain the search warrants, agents said ICP and WISE were ‘fronts’ for the Islamic Jihad. Shallah, a WISE employee, was the terrorist group’s new leader, they offered as proof. Another WISE employee, Basheer Nafi, was a ranking member, the affidavits said.” (Susan Aschoff, “Accused Of Being Suspicious,” St. Petersburg Times, 5/7/00)

One Of The Videotapes Obtained By Investigators Shows Al-Arian Calling For Victory For Islam And Death To Israel At An ICP Conference In 1991. “One of the seized tapes, of an ICP conference in 1991, included a speech in which Al-Arian called for victory for Islam, death to Israel: When ‘we force out the West . . . we get to the great epic in Jerusalem, that God, to whom he ascribed all perfection and majesty, promised us: the victory of the believers in God, the Muslims . . . and the waning of the superiority of the sons of Israel and their corruption.’” (Susan Aschoff, “Accused Of Being Suspicious,” St. Petersburg Times, 5/7/00)

The First Accusations That Al-Arian’s Groups Were Tied To Islamic Jihad Was A PBS Documentary Aired In 1994; The Program Named The ICP As The Primary Funding Source In The United States For The Islamic Jihad. “Another hire that would generate controversy was economist Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, a Gaza native who worked at WISE as a researcher. It was the presence of Shallah that would hurt Mazen Al-Najjar the most. The first public accusation that WISE and ICP were not scholarly but sinister came in fall 1994 in a documentary called Jihad in America on PBS. The film painted a dark picture of a network of terrorists across the United States plotting against Jews and Americans. It used unidentified sources and excerpts from speeches at ICP conferences to assert that the group in Tampa was the chief financial support in the United States for the Islamic Jihad. Producer Steven Emerson, a freelance journalist, interviewed Sami Al-Arian at his mosque.” (Susan Aschoff, “Accused Of Being Suspicious,” St. Petersburg Times, 5/7/00)

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