Last July, an estimated three hundred thousand supporters of the radical Islamic Turkish Saadet Party gathered in Istanbul to rally in support of the Palestinian terrorist organization HAMAS and their kidnapping of an Israeli soldier. Among the keynote speakers at the rally were HAMAS terrorist-in-chief Ismail Haniyeh (speaking via videophone), former Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan (political mentor to Saadet Party leaders), and my own Hilliard, Ohio neighbor, Salah Sultan.
Sultan, president of the Columbus, Ohio-based American Center for Islamic Research and protégé of Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Youssef Al-Qaradawi (described by the Anti-Defamation League as the “Theologian of Terror” and designated by the US Government as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist), whipped up the crowd by condemning the Israeli response to the HAMAS kidnappings and calling for a boycott of Israel, as reported by Qaradawi’s own mouthpiece, Islamonline.net.
Since introducing Salah Sultan to FrontPage readers in April of last year (“Hometown Jihad”), I’ve been keeping readers informed on Sultan’s activities in several subsequent articles:
Hometown Jihad: Blowback (05/24/06)
Hometown Jihad: Our Newest Citizen? (09/08/06)
Hometown Jihad: The Return of Salah Sultan (03/29/07)
During the past year, Sultan has been recorded on Saudi TV [video] claiming that the US planned the 9/11 attacks as a pretext for terrorizing the world and praising the Al-Qaeda-linked Yemeni cleric and Osama bin Laden confidante, Abd Al-Majid Al-Zindani. This was just two weeks after our local paper, the Columbus Dispatch, took to Sultan’s defense and the local Islamic school he was preaching out of in response to my initial FrontPage exposé. Sultan’s supporters claimed that he was a “moderate” and denied claims that he had any association with the Muslim Brotherhood and other global terrorist organizations. Apparently in agreement with Sultan’s supporters, the Dispatch reporter, Felix Hooker, likened FrontPage to a neo-Nazi propaganda tool advancing “white Christian heritage” (led by David Horowitz no less!).
In September I revealed that Sultan had applied for US citizenship, notwithstanding his multiple ties to US designated terrorist supporters and his appearances for the now-defunct HAMAS front group, the Islamic Association for Palestine (whose demise was covered here at FrontPage by Joe Kaufman, “Death of a Terror Lobby”. And just a few weeks ago, I noted that after a long period of silence from Sultan after the FrontPage exposés, he had reappeared as a political commentator for the Muslim Brotherhood’s official English-language website, Ikhwanweb.com, which definitively put the lie to his supporters’ previous claims that he had no association with the organization.
But according to my sources, Sultan’s appearance in Istanbul last year at the pro-HAMAS rally with the head of the terrorist group may very well be the tipping point for derailing his pending bid for US citizenship.
Earlier last year, armed with the information provided in the FrontPage “Hometown Jihad” articles, staff members with Rep. Deborah Pryce’s office turned over that information to the State Department, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (Pryce represents the congressional district in which both Sultan and I live). Because of federal privacy regulations, Pryce’s staff is forbidden by law from revealing any information concerning the status of Sultan’s US citizenship application.
However, after I provided her office several weeks ago with this new information regarding Sultan’s Istanbul rally appearance with HAMAS terror chief Ismail Haniyeh, Rob Nichols, a spokesman for Rep. Pryce’s Columbus office, told me that they are paying careful attention to the situation.
“While Rep. Pryce has no say whatsoever in approving or denying an individual’s application for citizenship, I can assure you that this new information was immediately passed on by our office to all the appropriate immigration and law enforcement officials, just as we did when we first became aware of this situation involving Dr. Sultan last year,” Nichols told me in an interview a few days ago. “Certainly, the officials responsible for making those decisions are fully informed and clearly will be taking all of these factors in consideration when his application eventually comes up for consideration.”
I can confirm that according to visitor logs, since this new information was passed on to Rep. Pryce’s office, several visits have been made by Homeland Security officials with dhs.gov Internet addresses to Sultan-related entries on my personal blog, Existential Space.
A federal law enforcement official familiar with the situation who spoke to me last week on the condition of anonymity told me that this new information will likely derail Sultan’s pursuit of US citizenship:
“With the information that we have in hand, Sultan’s application is essentially a dead letter, especially now that we know about this HAMAS rally. You would think that with all the attention that he’s been getting this past year, he would be smart enough to lay low long enough to get through the process to get his citizenship. He probably thought that he could get away with some of these activities because he was doing most of it overseas… His concern now shouldn’t just be about becoming a US citizen, but if his overall immigration status is going to get reviewed. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they pull his Green Card and he gets deported.”
If Salah Sultan’s US citizenship application is in fact rejected, two factors can be credited: Sultan’s relentless international advocacy of a radical Islamic agenda; and the independent media outlets and research organizations, such as FrontPage Magazine and MEMRI, willing to pay attention to it.