FSM Exclusive: Ground Zero Mosque Imam’s Radical Connections

Added Clues Suggest MB ties to the Would-be Ground Zero Mosque Chief

by Alyssa A. Lappen
Family Security Matters | Jul. 16, 2010

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 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. [1]

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.

UPDATE, 7/28/2011


Choudhury evidently perpetrated multiple subterfuges in the decade since 9/11. Since at least 2010, for example, the North Korean government compensated him grandly to publish dozens of “propaganda pieces in his Weekly Blitz newspaper, for dictator Kim Jung il’s House of Horrors,” according to Brenda West’s superb investigative piece today at Family Security Matters.(The above piece also initially ran at FSM, where I am a Contributing Editor.)

Previously, Choudhury had created from whole cloth several fictitious guises, under whose cover he had for years likewise supported North Korea, until dogged Bengali bloggers exposed those frauds.

Regarding Rauf, Choudhury’s observations happen to be truthful and accurate. However, that hardly dignifies this source, who has so often and so effectively duped many Western leaders and journalists, I am sorry to say, including myself. In fact, he has done great harm here too, which may after all have been his intent. For Choudhury’s position in this case provides a glaring example of the proverbial pot calling the kettle black.

Kindly read Brenda West’s impeccable report on Choudhury. I was unaware of his malevolence when writing the above piece, but a deluge of seemingly irrefutable evidence has now been presented.

Therefore, I herewith withdraw any previous statements of support I gave on Chourdhury’s behalf while he purported to be an oppressed journalist and encourage my colleagues and political leaders to do the same. Further, I commit not to cite Choudhury again.


[1] 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,; 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).

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Alyssa A. Lappen is a U.S.-based investigative journalist. She is the former Managing Editor at the Leeb Group (2012-2017); a former Senior Fellow of the American Center for Democracy (2005-2008); and a former Senior Editor of Institutional Investor (1993-1999), Working Woman (1991-1993) and Corporate Finance (1991). She served six of her 12 years at Forbes (1978-1990) as an Associate Editor. Ms. Lappen was also a staff reporter at The New Haven Register (1975-1977). During a decade as a freelance, her work appeared in Big Peace, Pajamas Media, Front Page Magazine, American Thinker, Right Side News, Family Security Matters, the Washington Times and many other Internet and print journals. Ms. Lappen also contributed to the Terror Finance Blog, among others. She supports the right of journalists worldwide to write without fear or restriction on politics, governments, international affairs, terrorism, terror financing and religious support for terrorism, among other subjects. Ms. Lappen is also an accomplished poet. Her first full-length collection, The Minstrel's Song, was published by Cross-Cultural Communications in April 2015. Her poems have been published in the 2nd 2007 edition of Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust and both 2007 issues of Wales' award-winning Seventh Quarry: Swansea Poetry Magazine. Dozens of her poems have appeared in print and online literary journals and books. She won the 2000 annual Ruah: A Journal of Spiritual Poetry chapbook award and has received a Harvard Summer Poetry Prize and several honorable mentions.

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