Ahmad Totonji, an Iraqi-born citizen of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a key target of Operation Green Quest, was named as a defendant in a $1 trillion lawsuit filed by more than 600 relatives of people who died in the 9/11 attacks. He acted as a co-founder and officer of the Saudi-founded/Saudi-funded (and now defunct) SAAR Trust. Additionally, he served as Vice President of the Safa Group and the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT).
Officials have linked the non-profit IIIT to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. Matthew Levitt (of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy) testified before Congress in August of 2002 that IIIT employee Tarik Hamdi had personally provided batteries for Osama bin Laden's satellite phone, keeping the wandering terrorist mastermind connected to his scattered ground troops. According to an Operation Green Quest affidavit, IIIT had also sponsored Basheer Nafi, "an active directing member of (Palestinian Islamic Jihad) front organizations."
Customs agent David Kane also uncovered a monetary tie between IIIT and terrorism. Kane claims that, during a raid in Tampa, he found letters that prove IIIT sent at least $50,000 to the World Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE), a front for Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The same affidavit states that Ahmad Totonji personally signed an IIIT check in the amount of $10,000 to Sami al-Arian's Tampa Bay Coalition for Justice and Peace on November 1, 2001. Such fortunes are chump change for the SAAR Trust, founded by Saudi magnate Suleiman Abdul Al-Aziz al-Rajhi. SAAR received $1.7 billion in donations in 1998 alone.
Totonji's prolific connections to Wahhabi radicalism do not end there. He was a co-founder of the radical Muslim Students Association, and served as its second President. Totonji also served as a founder and Secretary General of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi-supported (and hence, Wahhabi) group federal agents raided in May 25, 2004, resulting in the arrest of Ibrahim Abdullah, the current Vice-President of WAMY-USA. As Kenneth R. Timmerman noted in an exposé, "Until the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the head of the WAMY office in Herndon was Abdullah bin Laden," Osama bin Laden's younger brother.
Totonji has also personal ties to Louis Farrakhan. At a February 2000 meeting with Farrakhan, Totonji presented each Nation of Islam imam with a gift set of eight books on Islam and voiced his hope that NOI would bolster Islam within North America. In 1996, Farrakhan traveled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria and Libya, where he denounced the United States alongside Muammar Qaddafi -- among other things, accusing President Clinton of conspiring to launch a pre-emptive biological weapons attack against innocent Iraqis. (Farrakhan's relationship with international terrorist regimes is long and deep. In 1986, Farrakhan attended seminars on weapons and explosives in Libya, and Qaddafi has acted as a frequent financial patron of NOI.)
Also, Totonji has made a $1,000 donation to the unsuccessful re-election campaign of Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-GA, as did others connected with the Safa Group. McKinney is best remembered for alleging President Bush had advance knowledge of 9/11; her father famously blamed McKinney's woes on "Jews. J-E-W-S."
Adapted from "A Troubling Presence at a Funeral," by Ben Johnson (June 11, 2004).