Exclusive: Ground Zero Mosque Imam’s Radical Connections
by ALYSSA A. LAPPEN
July 16, 2010
Added Clues Suggest MB ties to the Would-be Ground Zero Mosque Chief
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan pretend they're “moderate Muslims.” Yet another crack has appeared in their crumbling facade, however. The New York City office of their American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), at 475 Riverside Drive, has for many years sat in the very building, on the very floor, immediately adjacent (pdf) to the suite housing the New York City chapter office of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the U.S. representative of Hamas.
In 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice declared CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror-funding case. In October 2008, the FBI's Oklahoma office canceled plans to appear at a Muslim “outreach” event due to CAIR's participation. In Jan. 2009, FBI offices nationwide were reported to have also severed ties with CAIR. In a Feb. 2009 letter to U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC), the FBI confirmed the reports.
Meanwhile on Nov. 24, 2008, HLF and five of its officers were convicted of materially supporting the designated foreign terrorist group, Hamas. Federal prosecutors successfully opposed a petition by CAIR, the Islamic Association of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) to expunge their names from the list of alleged HLF coconspirators. A federal judge denied their motion in 2009. Thus CAIR, ISNA and NAIT remain unindicted terror-funding coconspirators.
By itself, sitting on the same floor, in the next suite to CAIR might not establish ASMA's tight connections to CAIR or the Saudi-based Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), built on Muslim Brotherhood principles. But sharing office buildings, floors and suites is common amongst Islamic terror-funding and supporting organizations. In the most famous example, in the May 2002 federal raid on the Herndon,Va. Safa companies and SAAR Foundation offices at 555 Grove Street, U.S. Treasury Department Operation Green Quest found over a dozen interlinked terror-funding Muslim charities and companies, all subsequently shuttered. They carted off truckloads of evidence. 
Rauf, more importantly embraces high-placed members of CAIR NY, whom he includes in the ASMA Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow (MLT) subsidiary. Rauf's Cordoba Initiative website also openly promotes Muslim Brotherhood and CAIR efforts and radical ideology. In January, Cordoba posted a news clip from the Muslim Brotherhood website Islam Online, protesting British boxing rules prohibiting players with beards. Cordoba likewise features a duplicitous CAIR press release, seeking funds to “rebuild churches in Malaysia” that were “firebombed by extremists.” It's highly unlikely, however, that an organization charged with terror financing will actually send money raised to Malay Christians whose churches its radical Muslim Brotherhood pals have destroyed.
Then there are Rauf's MLT appointees. Brooklyn-based Faiza N. Ali, for example, a self-described “community organizer” and “social justice activist,” serves as Community Affairs Director for CAIR NY, which Rauf and MLT let her deceptively describe as “America’s largest Muslim civil rights advocacy group.” Ali also helps lead several other Muslim Brotherhood groups, including the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition (MACLC), an offshoot of the MB's Muslim Consultative Network. Ali's MLT profile boasts as well that she wrote MACLC's “Countert-ERROR-ism” (sic) critique of the New York City Police Department's well-researched and reported 2008 white paper, “Radicalization in the West: the Homegrown Threat.” With a Pace University bachelor's degree in political science, Ali also led CAIR-NY's “campaign” to support her dissimulating piece of nonsense.
Rauf hosts other hotshot MB leaders in his MLT subsidiary too, including Dhaba “Debbie” Almontasser, who like Ali worked with the NY chapter of CAIR, Hamas’ U.S. arm, to counter-attack the New York City Police Department. She organized an online discussion group to obtain “input” for CAIR's “Community Statement.”
Other U.S.-based MLT radicals include Jihad F. Saleh, a top congressional aid to U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), helping fulfill the legislative goals established by CAIR founder and former chairman Omar Ahmad, who wanted increased Muslim “influence with Congress,” by using Muslims on Capitol Hill “to pressure Congress and the decision makers in America” to shift U.S. foreign policy. (P. David Gaubitz and Paul Sperry, The Muslim Mafia, p. 183) Saleh is not just a Congressional staff point man, though. He has been working closely with national CAIR official and convert Corey Saylor to increase the Muslim Congressional presence through the CAIR-backed Congressional Muslim Staffers Association.
Another, genuine al-Qaeda supporter Yasir Qadhi, serves as academic affairs dean at North America's “largest and fastest growing college-level Islamic educational” organization, Al Maghrib Institute. Al Qadhi gives frequent radical lectures on the internet, appearing on pages and blogs such as Halal Tube and Mujahadeen Rider, which both frequently mark videos “private,” presumably since Westerners and non-Muslims would take great offense. Al Qadhi doesn't even need CAIR as his radical middle man.
Several U.S. MLT appointees list no surnames or qualifications whatever. Yet another red flag.
New Yorkers and Americans who consider Rauf a not-so-secret radical are not alone. The devout Bengali Muslim dissident Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury agrees that efforts to build a giant mosque opposite Ground Zero are an abomination. Its construction will only delight jihadists, whom he wants to disappoint. His Weekly Blitz newspaper has published many objections to Rauf's plan, not least of all since New Yorkers are overwhelmingly opposed, considering it as insensitive, say, as “the German government opening ... a Nazi appreciation museum right outside the Auschwitz death camp.”
Choudhury has faced such fights before. Bangladesh authorities imprisoned him many times for his pro-American and pro-Israel sentiments and he still faces trial. Lately, a senior Bangladeshi intelligence official has called him repeatedly threatening “consequences if we continued to publish such [“extremely provocative anti-Islamic”] articles.” His newspaper's required government registration could be revoked. The official merely seeks to appease “Saudis and other anti-American elements,” however, and perhaps even to renew “previous secret affiliations with jihadist groups like Hizb-ut-Tahrir.”
Choudhury will not rest, however. No one else should either.
 Douglas Farah and John Mintz, “U.S. S. Trails Va. Muslim Money, Ties; Clues Raise Questions About Terror Funding” Washington Post, Oct. 7, 2002, http://ftrsupplemental.blogspot.com/2002/10/us-trails-va-muslim-money-ties.html (viewed 7/15/2010); Erick Stakelback, “Islamic radicals on campus,” Front Page Magazine, Apr. 23, 2003, http://126.96.36.199/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=18601; Department of Justice documents on U.S. raids on Herndon, Va., Safa and SAAR offices, orig. at DOJ, “106-page US Customs Service affidavit,” http://cryptome.org/safaaffid102003.pdf, “3-page Attachment C Safa Group businesses & corporations,” http://cryptome.org/safaattachc102003.pdf, “9-page ATTACHMENT D Safa Group officers & directors & related bus. &organizations,” http://cryptome.org/safaattachd102003.pdf, “9-page Attachment E glossary of terms, individuals, & organizations relevant to this affidavit,” http://cryptome.org/safaattache102003.pdf and http://www.nefafoundation.org/miscellaneous/FeaturedDocs/SafaAffidavit_AttachmentE.pdf; (all viewed 5/20/2010).
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributor Alyssa A. Lappen is a U.S.-based investigative journalist focusing on the Middle East and Islam. She is a former Senior Fellow for the American Center for Democracy (2005-2008); former Senior Editor of Institutional Investor (1993-1999), Working Woman (1991-1993) and Corporate Finance (1991).