EXCLUSIVE: Al-Arian, the Sequel--What I Saw @ the Damrah Deportation Proceedings
By Debbie Schlussel
Today, I attended a pre-trial hearing in the deportation proceedings against convicted felon Palestinian Fawaz Abu Damra (a/k/a Fawwaz Damra, a/k/a Fawaz Damrah and multiple other spellings he deliberately used for multiple identities and deliberate confusion), the Imam of the Cleveland Mosque, and a conspirator with Islamic Jihad chieftain Sami Al-Arian.
Damra was also an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing--another piece of evidence showing that Al Qaeda and Islamic Jihad are working together. He headed Brooklyn's Al-Farooq Mosque where the '93 attack perpetrators worshipped, and which was later headed by convicted terrorist, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind cleric.
Even though it was procedural, the hearing was interesting for a number of reasons. There was almost no-one there. I was the only media person, as far as I could tell (although I was told an AP reporter was expected to be there; don't think they showed up). No Cleveland media, no Detroit (where the hearing was held) media, no national media. Why? This man, Damrah, is an important story, a great parable for other "moderate", mainstream Islamic leaders in America--and how many of them, if not themselves terrorists, are vehement terror supporters and enablers. Not friends of America, and certainly not the loyal, law-abiding citizens they claim to be.
Damrah was respected as the leader of the largest mosque in Cleveland (reportedly, the largest in Ohio), and was a nationally respected Islamic figure. To the public, he represented himself as a moderate who opposed terrorism and only wanted peace. Easily duped Jewish and Christian leaders frequently had unity dinners, lunches, and town hall forums, all for the purpose of embracing this "peaceful" Muslim man who played the role they craved, especially after 9/11.
But the real Fawaz Abu Damra was a violent, hateful man, who supported the destruction of Christians, Jews, and America. An FBI transcript of a 1991 speech shows Damra imploring Muslims in attendance to give to Islamic Jihad movement through fraudulent means, and he makes it clear that the money will go to stab and kill Jews:
Tonight, Dr. Sami Al-Arian . . . he is the president of Islamic Committee for Palestine and a short briefing about the Islamic Committee for Palestine, it is the active arm of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, and we like to call it the Islamic Committee for Palestine here for security reasons.
The money Damra helped Sami Al-Arian raise for Islamic Jihad went to fund Islamic Jihad terrorist attacks on innocent people, such as the bus bombing that murdered New Jersey college student Alisa Flatow, the daughter of my friend Stephen Flatow.
This man, Damra, is on trial for deportation because of crimes in which he conspired against many people, but few bothered to show up for his hearing. Besides me, his lawyers and family members, there were six ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents and detention and removal officers. I wondered if they were protecting America from his possible fleeing or protecting Damra against would-be attackers our government likes to see in peaceful Americans like me who dare expose their bend-over-backward-to-extremist-Muslims policy. We are the threat in the eyes of our government, which tends to be paranoid in the wrong places.
At the hearing, today, Damra was dressed in a very expensive suit and accessories. He has the most expensive immigration attorney in town representing him. One of his daughters had a clearly visible nose job. One wonders who paid for all of this. Is it Islamic Jihad? Al Qaeda? (That's not far-fetched since well-founded rumors have swirled for years that the Bin Laden family paid for his partner, Al-Arian's, kids' private college tuition.) The Muslims at the Islamic Center of Greater Cleveland, who claim to be against terrorism, yet embraced Damra despite all that has come out about him?
I heard Damra's lawyer try a delay tactic, claiming he needs much more time to decipher this "very complex matter" against his client. But actually, it's not complex at all. (When someone says something is "very complex," that's usually a major hint that it's not.) It's very simple. Damra was raising funds for terrorist groups. He wasn't raising funds for "humanitarian" operations. He was raising funds for mass murder. People are deported on a daily basis for a lot less, and in many cases, those deportees are much more worthy of America than Damra.
I watched the able immigration judge, Marsha Nettles, cut through the thick but transparent BS put forth by Damra's high-paid legal prostitute. I will reserve further judgment about her until I learn of her judgment after the trial. (I'm told her written decision is confidential, unless Damra decides to make it public.) But I can already see she will not be anything like the Judge Ito clone that ran Sami Al-Arian's circus of a trial. That, alone, is reason for hope.
Another reason for hope is ICE's attorney, Mark Jebson, a terrific litigator whose work I respect a great deal. He is sharp, quick-witted, and discrete. If all federal prosecutors were like him, we'd be in great shape (but, alas and unfortunately, most are not). If only someone like Jebson had tried Sami Al-Arian, it's a good bet the outcome would have been different. At least, he is trying one of Al-Arian's partners in crime.
I watched Damra's wife and daughters (one wore jeans--nice way to respect the court). I wondered what they think of their father's activities and utterances. They're probably supportive. I wondered, sitting there as American who is Jewish (a proud "daughter of monkeys and pigs"), did they want to raise money to stab me and my family, too? How about my cousins back in Israel or scattered throughout Europe? (I'd have asked them, but I was and am sick with laryngitis.) I don't really need to wonder because I know the answer. And it's beyond un-American. (Even the likes of Abu Moskowitz, useful idiot that he is, are non-distinct "sons of monkeys and pigs" to them, all worthy of the same fate.)
Yet, these people get to live in my country because their father lied on his application to become a citizen (about his associations with terrorist groups)--and because, as a result of that lie, they had the fortunate accident of birth in our country. Even if their criminal father gets deported, they will get to grow up here and spread their father's hatred of not just Jews--but America and Christians, also uttered in the transcript--to their children, to their community--in their father's place.
I would much rather be the daughter of "monkeys and pigs" than the daughter of a terrorist, a daughter who agrees with her father's hateful, murderous enterprise.
They were dressed in typical American teenage garb, plus hijabs. But the Damra offspring are anything but American. They are their father's daughters. The daughters of a terrorist. A fundraiser and cheerleader for mass murder. He will likely be deported. But they won't. And that's why we need to end the citizenship birthright. Their father was here under false pretenses, and therefore, not only he--but they, too--must be stripped of their citizenship.
I look forward to the trial, beginning in about a week. But I wonder what happens to Damra if and when he is deported. If he goes to the Palestinian Authority, he will be a hero there. Will he run terrorist operations from there? Probably. Will he continue to spread hate and urge mass murder? Certainly.
But, at least, he will be away from our great country. And away from the non-Muslim fools who continued to embrace and promote this man, all while he plotted the murder of Americans (at the WTC) and Jews (throughout the world). Stay tuned.
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