In the war on terrorism -- specifically Islamic terrorism -- law enforcement would like nothing more than to have the cooperation of the Muslim community. But, many times, those searching for answers are greeted with a wall of silence. One of the groups working hard to build up this wall is the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). This month, the head of CAIR-Florida visited a storied terror haven to instruct congregants on how to evade those charged to protect us all.
On Saturday, February 16, 2008, the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR) broke ground on its soon-to-be 30,000 square foot mosque. Considering all of the individuals involved with ICBR who have been discovered to have had terror ties, it’s a wonder that the center would even be granted 30 square inches for the structure.
The former imam of ICBR, Ibrahim Dremali, has been placed on the federal “no-fly” list and was part of an organization, the Southeast division of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA-Southeast), which asked its followers to give “material support” to groups connected to Al-Qaeda. The imam that took his place, Muneer Arafat, admitted under oath that he was a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
A co-founder of the mosque, Bassem Alhalabi, was a research assistant for PIJ leader Sami Al-Arian at the University of South Florida (USF) and was charged with the illegal export of a $13,000 military thermal imaging device to Syria. An ICBR teacher, Lamyaa Hashim, was the President of a Florida-based charity, the Health Resource Center for Palestine (HRCP), which was associated with Hamas. And a director of ICBR, Syed Khawer Ahmad, was the creator and webmaster for the official website of Hamas’s charitable and educational apparatus, the Islamic Association (Al-Jamiya Al-Islamia).
ICBR’s terrorist connections were largely ignored by the media until May of 2005, when one of its members, a doctor by the name of Rafiq Sabir, was apprehended during an FBI sting operation. Later, he would be convicted of conspiracy and attempting to provide material support to Al-Qaeda, following his taking an oath of loyalty to the terror group and Osama bin Laden.
None of this has ever, at any time, fazed Boca city officials, as the large-scale mosque was and is set to be built only blocks from its sister masjid, the Assalam Center, which itself has been under construction. Both Islamic centers were started via faculty and students associated with the Muslim Student Organization (MSO) at Florida Atlantic University (FAU).
The same day of the ICBR groundbreaking, Altaf Ali, the Executive Director of CAIR-Florida (a.k.a. CAIR-Miami), came to speak to the congregation. According to an e-mail that was sent out by ICBR, the speech included “tips on what to do if the FBI visits you,” which, given all of the above, should be of concern to law enforcement.
CAIR or the Council on American-Islamic Relations was created in June of 1994 by three leaders of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), the former propaganda wing of Hamas. At CAIR’s inception, it became part of the American Palestine Committee, led by then-international head of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook. The committee’s goal was to look for ways to raise money for Hamas from U.S. shores. As such, for a terrorism-related trial that began in July of 2007 -- the largest terrorism financing case in U.S. history -- CAIR was labeled by the Justice Department as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the funneling of millions of dollars to Hamas.
According to the Federal Courts Law Review (FCLR): “The term ‘unindicted co-conspirator’ refers to any person who allegedly ‘agreed with others to violate the law but who is not being charged with an offense and who, consequently, will not be tried or sentenced for his criminal conduct’... Prosecutors often have enough evidence to indict these individuals, but instead name them as unindicted co-conspirators for a variety of strategic reasons.”
Altaf Ali, himself, has said and done things that have been deemed suspect. In March of 2003, Ali questioned the FBI’s methods of obtaining intel from 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who had just fingered former Florida resident Adnan El Shukrijumah as being a future Al-Qaeda leader, on par with 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta. Ali was quoted about the treatment of Shaikh Mohammed: “Has he been deprived of sleep? Food? We have no idea, and they won’t tell us what measures they have taken to elicit this information.” Ali, as well, had admitted that he (Ali) was part of the same “circle” as El Shukrijumah, traveling the “same family centers” as him.
All of this is relevant, because of the nature of Ali’s talk and the venue at which it was held.
The title of Ali’s lecture was ‘KNOW YOUR RIGHTS,’ which is part of a national initiative from CAIR to provide Muslims with information on how to interact with their communities and the media. But, as stated, there is also a function dealing with how to interact with the law.
On CAIR National’s website, the following statements are found under the heading, ‘IF FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTACTS YOU...’
- You should have a lawyer present when speaking with federal law enforcement agencies.
- Refusing to answer questions cannot be held against you and does not imply that you have something to hide.
- You do not have to permit them to enter your home or office if they do not have a warrant.
- If they say they have a warrant, kindly demand to see it before allowing them to enter.
From reading this section off CAIR’s initiative, one could easily get the impression that CAIR is attempting to teach fellow Muslims how to avoid the law. This of course could lead one to believe that, apart from what CAIR states on its website, those Ali is speaking to might very well have something to hide, as has certainly been the case with ICBR since the time it opened its pre-mosque doors.
While the city sleeps soundly, radical Islamists grow their infrastructure within Boca Raton, Florida. They are told of their “rights” by a group that is just as radical. Very few are watching. Very few are listening. It is this strange phenomenon that has crept into our society -- coupled by a chronic denial of reality -- that will bring us down, if we do not wake up and take the necessary actions to prevent it.