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Real Estate Jihad By: Joe Kaufman
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Last Friday, a plea was issued in the name of jailed Al-Qaida leader, Abu Musaab Al-Suri, calling for attacks on Britain.  The message was as follows:  Let our sleeping cells wake, the war is at its apex. The enemy is about to collapse.  We warn Britain: respect Muslim scholars in general or jihad people in particular.  Doing anything to harm them and your country will pay a high price.”

According to reports, this call was posted to 20 websites associated with Al-Qaida.  Mysteriously, it did not make it onto Al-Suri’s own website.  But many other things have, including information on the purchase and sale of residential homes in the United States.  Al-Suri’s website is a For Sale By Owner real estate company, located in Pepper Pike, Ohio.

On its face, www.fsboa.com is a normal looking real estate site, with property listings and such.  The slogan on the site reads, “HELPING BUYERS AND SELLERS MEET THEIR REAL ESTATE GOALS.”  However, when one appends to its web address a couple of letters, “vw,” he/she is taken into an entirely different universe – the official website of Syrian terrorist Abu Musaab Al-Suri, al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya al-‘Alamiyya (The International Islamic Resistance).


Al-Suri (a.k.a. Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, a.k.a. Omar Abdul-Hakim, a.k.a. The Syrian) was born in the town of Aleppo, Syria, in 1958.  As a young man, he became indoctrinated into al-Tali’a al-Muqatila (The Fighting Vanguard), a violent group linked to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.  Following the February 2002 massacre that took place in Hama, Syria, carried out by the Baathist army of Hafiz Al-Asad, Al-Suri left his birthright, angered by the secularist Syrian government and disappointed at what he saw as an assimilation of the Brotherhood.


Al-Suri quickly found a home in Afghanistan, fighting against the Soviets, beside the likes of Osama bin Laden and bin Laden’s mentor, Abdullah Azzam.  Of the experience, he stated, “I was honored to participate in the Afghani jihad against the Russians and the communists until we exterminated their forces and lowered their flanks and made an example out of them – as we will also do with America, with the help of Allah… I was honored to become acquainted with Shaykh Abdullah Azzam, and I worked with him during the days of the Afghani jihad in 1987.  Then in 1988, I was honored by coming to know Shaykh Usama [Bin Laden]… I was honored to become a member of Al-Qaida, and I worked with the group until 1992.” (Evan Kohlman, July 11, 2005)


After his Afghan experience, Al-Suri made his way to Europe, where he would soon be considered one of the most influential leaders of Al-Qaida, suspected of collaboration in numerous terrorist attacks.  Today, he is rumored to be sitting in a U.S. prison, having been captured in Pakistan in October of 2005.  [In November of 2004, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell authorized a $5 million reward for individuals offering information on Al-Suri’s whereabouts.]  Yet, Al-Suri has found a way to get his message out, not only with respect to last week’s plea for attacks, but with the website that was created in his organization’s name.


Al-Suri’s site is used, amongst other things, to publish his teachings.  As late as March of 2006, one was able to access his 1600 page textbook, Da`wah lil-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah al-`Alamiyyah (A Call to Global Islamic Resistance), which calls for a global armed jihad, via his website.  As stated by the SITE Institute, in his book, “Al-Suri explicitly calls for attacks on all sectors of the enemy’s influence, both civilian and military.  According to his book, the ‘…political, military, economical, educational, missionary, and tourist presence…etc in our countries’ are the primary targets of jihad.”


Today, one can find a video on the site of Al-Suri teaching a class, using a dry erase board and a pamphlet bearing the logo of his organization.  This video, along with numerous downloadable documents, including one that extols the virtues of child martyrdom, was placed on the website in April of 2006.


The FSBOA (For Sale By Owner Association) site that houses Al-Suri’s materials is registered to American Capital Funding.  The Administrative Contact is Alan Isham of Solon, Ohio.  When asked about his site, Isham claimed to be a “silent partner” and stated that his counterpart was “out of town.”  It is possible, though, that Isham had no idea about the extra pages on his site, as the company that hosts the website, Liquid Web Inc., has, in the past, had problems with its sites being hacked into by Al-Qaida.


Whatever the case may be, what is absolute is the fact that Abu Musaab Al-Suri, a jailed leader in Al-Qaida, has been able to communicate with the outside world.  He is able to call for terrorist attacks, and he is able to have violent information uploaded to his website.  Even from behind prison bars, Al-Suri has shown to be a threat.  This is not unlike the spiritual guide for those that committed the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, whose lawyer, Lynn Stewart, was convicted, in February of 2003, of smuggling messages from Rahman to his followers in the terrorist organization Gama’a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group).


Obviously we are doing something wrong, and it needs to be righted immediately.  The only contact Al-Suri and his ilk should have with the outside world is with officers who slide their food trays under the door.  What is the use of having terrorists behind bars, if it doesn’t even stop them from committing terrorist acts?


Laura Mansfield, author and counter-terrorism consultant, and Jeffrey Epstein, Director of America’s Truth Forum, contributed to this piece.


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Joe Kaufman is the Chairman of Americans Against Hate and the founder of CAIR Watch.

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