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CAIR's Jihad Hotline By: John Perazzo
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Even as Congress debates new initiatives to expedite the deportation of illegal aliens guilty of violent crime, some “civil rights” groups have dedicated themselves to protecting the “rights” of illegal aliens in our nation’s prisons. Consider, for instance, the current joint initiative of the New Jersey Civil Rights Defense Committee (CRDC) and the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). These two groups have established a toll-free “Detention Hotline” – which went into effect last Thursday – to help immigration law violators being detained in New Jersey jails.

Programs affecting immigration transgressions in New Jersey are particularly noteworthy, given that most of the 1,200 detainees who were arrested in the post-9/11 terror investigation were sent to jails either in that state or in New York. Organizers of the new hotline say that during business hours the phones are staffed by volunteers who take all pertinent information, arrange to place callers in contact with lawyers who can help them, and even relay messages to family members if necessary. As CAIR-NJ’s chapter president Magdy Mahmoud explains, immigration law detainees “did suffer a lot in the past from the lack of legal representation. A collect call was the only possible means of contact from the jail, and a high percentage of the calls were rejected.” Jeannette Gabriel, a CRDC “immigrant rights activist,” agrees that until now the system has been “very punitive for the detainees and their relatives, [making] it very difficult for them to get help.”


In addition, the hotline has a voicemail system in place to receive after-hours calls, which are supposed to be returned within 24 hours. There are indications that the hotline may be understaffed, however, as even during business hours an outgoing message currently advises, “It may take us a few days to get back to you.” This message, not surprisingly, is then repeated in Spanish, lest non-English-speaking illegal aliens be deprived of their “civil rights.” The CRDC proudly asserts that it “will not stand aside and allow the government to destroy our civil rights . . . There cannot be democracy for the few: if one is oppressed, all are oppressed.”


Let’s consider just a few of the individuals who, had they been identified and apprehended before wreaking havoc on society, the CDRC would have deemed similarly “oppressed” and deserving of free legal counsel.  Luis Martinez-Flores arrived in the U.S. illegally from El Salvador in 1994 and lived undetected in Virginia for several years, during which time he became familiar with the loopholes in America’s lax immigration laws. Thus the stage was set for his fateful August 2001 encounter with two Middle Eastern men – Hani Hanjour and Khalid Almihdhar – in the parking lot of a Falls Church, Virginia, convenience store. Martinez-Flores and scores of fellow illegal Hispanic day laborers congregated there each day in hopes of finding work. That August day, Mr. Flores earned $100 by escorting Hanjour and Almihdhar to the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office, where Flores signed forms falsely certifying that the pair currently resided with him (at a fake address). At that time, applicants like Hanjour and Almihdhar needed nothing more to obtain Virginia photo identification cards – the same cards they would use a month later, on 9/11, to gain entry aboard the ill-fated American Airlines Flight 77 they were to hijack and crash into the Pentagon.


To compound matters, Hanjour and Almihdhar, with their new “identification cards” in hand, returned to the DMV the day after Flores vouched for their Virginia residency and went through the same procedure to secure similar documents for their purported “roommates” at the same bogus address. Their roommates were Majed Moqed and Salem Alhazmi, the two men who would help them take over the cockpit of Flight 77. In fact, the ambitious Mr. Hanjour actually returned to the DMV a third time and used the same method to obtain a Virginia ID for Ziad Jarrah, who was in the cockpit of United Airlines Flight 93 when it crashed onto a Pennsylvania field on 9/11. This horrific chicanery was paralleled in Arlington, Virginia, where two other illegals from El Salvador – in exchange for $130 – falsely certified to the DMV that Abdulaziz Alomari and Ahmed Saleh Alghamdi were Virginia residents. Armed with their new Virginia ID cards, Alomari and Alghamdi would also act as hijackers on 9/11.


Certainly not every individual who flouts our immigration laws is this type of heartless monster. But our government’s refusal to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for such violations only sends the message that future terrorists can orchestrate their abominations without major obstacles. The same can be said of our refusal to clamp down on individuals like the aforementioned El Salvadoran illegals who unwittingly played such prominent roles in helping the seeds of 9/11 to germinate. Organizations that characterize immigration law violators as “oppressed” victims who need “protection” of their “civil rights” undermine our national security every bit as much as the outlaws they represent.

John Perazzo is the Managing Editor of DiscoverTheNetworks and is the author of The Myths That Divide Us: How Lies Have Poisoned American Race Relations. For more information on his book, click here. E-mail him at WorldStudiesBooks@gmail.com

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