Congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia has done America a great service in pointing out for the official congressional record the troubling ties of political operative Grover Norquist. Norquist’s financial ties to convicted Jihadist terror financiers are both shocking and suggestive that he should have no place in the political process in America…
Wolf questioned Norquist’s relationship with convicted…terrorist financiers Abdurahman Alamoudi and Sami Al-Arian. He also raised the issue of Norquist’s advocacy of moving Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States, including 9/11 mastermind Khaled Sheik Mohammed…
Not only was Mr. Norquist entangled with the criminal dealings of Jack Abramoff, but documentation shows that he has deep ties to supporters of Hamas and other terrorist organizations that are sworn enemies of the United States and our ally Israel.
According to Senate lobbying disclosure records of his now defunct lobbying firm, Janus-Merritt Strategies, around the years 2000 and 2001 Mr. Norquist’s firm represented Abdurahman Alamoudi, who was convicted two years later for his role in a terrorist plot and who is presently serving a 23-year sentence in federal prison.
Court documents and a October 15, 2004, Department of Justice press release reveal that Alamoudi, the president of the American Muslim Council, was arrested at Dulles Airport in September 2003 upon returning to the U.S after participating in a Libyan plot to assassinate the Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. “Alamoudi participated in recruiting participants for this plot by introducing the Libyans to two Saudi dissidents in London and facilitating the transfer of hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash from the Libyans to those dissidents to finance the plot,” the release said.
According to the DOJ press release, Alamoudi, a naturalized citizen, pled guilty to three federal offenses:
· One count of violating the International Emergency Powers Act;
· One count of false statements made in his application for naturalization;
· A tax offense involving a long-term scheme to conceal from the IRS his financial transactions with Libya and his foreign bank accounts and to omit material information from the tax returns filed by his charities.
It is important to point out that Alamoudi’s ties to terrorist groups were no secret prior to his arrest.
Alamoudi spoke at an October 2000 rally in front of the White House in support of Hamas and Hezbollah during the period he was represented by Norquist’s firm, according to Senate lobbying disclosure records.. The “Rally Against Israeli Aggression” was sponsored by Norquist’s Islamic Free Market Institute, according to a September 2000 “Islamic Institute Friday Brief.” The Islamic Free Market Institute was created by Grover Norquist and operated out of his Americans for Tax Reform office in Washington, thanks to sizable start-up contributions from Alamoudi, according to a March 11, 2003, article in the St. Petersburg Times by Mary Jacoby.
I have seen video from the rally, where Alamoudi roared from the stage:
“I have been labeled by the media in New York to be a supporter of Hamas, anybody supports Hamas here?”
[Crowd cheers, “Yes!”]
“…Hear that, Bill Clinton, we are all supporters of Hamas, Allahu Akbar.”
“I wish they added that I am also a supporter of Hezbollah. Anybody supports Hezbollah here?”
[Crowd cheers, “Yes!”]
A few months after the Lafayette Park rally, Alamoudi was photographed in Beirut at a conference attended by representatives of the terror groups Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and al-Qaida, also according to the March 2003 St. Petersburg Times article.
In addition to Alamoudi’s outspoken support for Hamas and Hezbollah, he expressed private support for the 1994 terrorist attack against a synagogue in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which killed 85 people and injured hundreds, according to a December 17, 2003, article in The American Spectator by Shawn Macomber, who reported: “In a wiretapped conversation made public in the recent criminal complaint, he (Alamoudi) praises a 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires. ‘The Jewish Community Center. It is a worthy operation,’ Alamoudi tells an unidentified man, in Arabic. ‘I think that the attacks that are being executed by bin Laden and other Islamic groups are wrong, especially hitting the civilian targets. Many African Muslims have died and not a single American has died. I prefer to hit a Zionist target in America or Europe…I prefer honestly like what happened in Argentina.”
According to a June 11, 2003, Wall Street Journal article by reporters Tom Hamburger and Glenn Simpson, around 1999 Alamoudi sent his deputy at the American Muslim Council, Khaled Saffuri, to work directly for Mr. Norquist to establish the Islamic Free Market Institute – one of the groups that sponsored the October 2000 rally in Lafayette Park. The institute, chaired by Norquist and led by Saffuri, operated out of the Americans for Tax Reform offices here in Washington, according to the March 2003 article in the St. Petersburg Times.
The Senate Indian Affairs Committee report revealed that Saffuri was closely tied to Mr. Norquist and the Abramoff scandal and received money from Abramoff and a front group, the American International Center (AIC), to partner with Abramoff’s firm Greenberg Traurig on his “Malaysian-related interests and issues.”
Mr. Norquist also associated with terror financier Sami Al-Arian, according to Mary Jacoby’s reporting in March 2003, in the St. Petersburg Times. Al-Arian pled guilty in 2006 “to a charge of conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a specially designated terrorist organization, in violation of U.S. law,” and is under house arrests, according to a Department of Justice press release. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s “paramilitary wing – the al-Quds Brigades – has conducted numerous attacks, including large-scale suicide bombings,” according to the National Counterterrorism Center,
Who is Sami al-Arian? An October 2003 federal affidavit noted that Al-Arian had longstanding connections to associates of al Qaeda. According to the affidavit, “Sheik Rahman (the “Blind Sheik”) visited Al-Arian at his residence in Tampa and spoke at his mosque.” Rahman is currently serving a life sentence in U.S. prison for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center attack and additional terror plots. The federal affidavit also disclosed Al-Arian’s ties with Alamoudi.
Al-Arian’s relationship with Mr. Norquist appears to have spanned several years. Prior to his arrest in February 2003, Sami Al-Arian visited Norquist’s office in Washington for a meeting, also reported in the June 11, 2003, article in the Wall Street Journal. According to Continetti, Mr. Al-Arian also “cc’d Norquist on an e-mail he sent to the Wall Street Journal protesting an editorial that had pointed out his terrorist connections.”
Mr. Norquist himself served as a key facilitator between Al-Arian, Alamoudi and the White House, according to Mary Jacoby’s reporting in March 2003 in The St. Petersburg Times. She reported that “In June 2001, Al-Arian was among the members of the American Muslim Council invited to the White House complex . . . The next month, the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom – a civil liberties group headed by Al-Arian – gave Norquist an award for his work to abolish the use of secret intelligence evidence in terrorism cases.”