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SAMI AL-ARIAN Printer Friendly Page

Major Introductory Resources:

Embedded Terrorist
By Erick Stakelbeck
May 14, 2003

Sami Al-Arian and the Anti-Patriot Act Movement
By David Horowitz
2004

Unholy Alliance: How the Left Supports the Terrorists at Home
By David Horowitz
September 24, 2004

May Day for Al-Arian
By R.K. Joyad
May 9, 2006

Sami Al-Arian
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
July 2007

What I Saw at Al-Arian's Trial
By Joe Kaufman
July 26, 2005

Sami Al-Arian Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Provide Services To Palestinian Islamic Jihad
By Department of Justice
April 17, 2006

Former Professor Pleads Guilty to Supporting Terrorists
By Melanie Hunter
April 17, 2006

The Guilt of Sami al-Arian
By The Washington Times
April 19, 2006


Videos:

Al-Arian: "Victory to Islam, Death to Israel" (video)
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
September 29, 1991

Al-Arian: "Let Us Damn America" (video)
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
April 7, 1991

Al-Arian's "Active Arm" (video)
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
April 7, 1991


Additional Resources:

Al-Arian's "Extraordinary" Claim Unproven
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
April 8, 2009

Al-Arian Offered Cooperation After Unexpected Sentence. Government Made No Extra Promises, Al-Arian Told Judge.
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
March 9, 2009

Prosecutor Argues Al-Arian Judge's Order Redundant and Invasive
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
February 17, 2009

Al-Arian Contempt Case Survives Challenges
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
January 16, 2009

Supreme Court Rejects Al-Arian Appeal
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
October 6, 2008

Washington Post Reporter Puts Target on Prosecutor's Back
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
September 19, 2008

Hiding Sami
By Joe Kaufman
September 16, 2008

American Brotherhood: Sami's Our Man
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
September 5, 2008

Hamas Mouthpiece CAIR Rejoices Over Temporary Release of Admitted Terrorist Sami Al-Arian
By William Mayer and Beila Rabinowitz
September 3, 2008

Tampa’s Terror for Kids
By Joe Kaufman
August 20, 2008

Judge Postpones Al-Arian Contempt Trial
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
August 8, 2008

Ex-Presidential Candidate Advocates Stalking Prosecutor
By Michael Fechter
August 5, 2008

Forgotten Investigation, Emails Offer Insight into IIIT Probe
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
August 3, 2008

Al Arian Lawyers Go After Federal Prosecuter Claiming "Bias against Muslims"
By Militant Islam Monitor
July 28, 2008

Judge Orders Al-Arian's Release on Bond
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
July 10, 2008

Al-Arian Trial Set for August
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
June 30, 2008

Obama Campaign Site: Free Islamic Terrorist!
By Aaron Klein
June 29, 2008

Prior Rulings Could Crimp Al-Arian Defense
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
June 27, 2008

The Tyranny of Ignorant Authors
By The Investigative Project on Terrorism
June 5, 2008

UC Berkeley's Friend of Bill Center Fronts for Islamic Terrorists
By David Horowitz
May 19, 2008

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad's "Education Wing"
By Investigative Project on Terrorism
May 1, 2008

Terrorist Cries and Lies
By Joe Kaufman
April 22, 2008

What about Sami?
By Steven Emerson
April 21, 2008

CAIR's Duplicity In Focus - Al Arian Propaganda Film Screening Charade
By William Mayer and Beila Rabinowitz
April 18, 2008

Al-Arian Starving for Attention
By Joe Kaufman
April 15, 2008

A Jailed Jihadist's Unhappy Anniversary
By Robert Spencer
April 9, 2008

CAIR’s March with Terror
By Joe Kaufman
April 1, 2008

CAIR's Support of Terrorist Sami Al- Arian Proves Organization's Jihadist Sympathies
By Militant Islam Monitor
March 20, 2008

Al-Arian's Third Strike
By Steven Emerson
January 28, 2008

CAIR Once again Defends Confessed Terrorist Al-Arian
By Militant Islam Monitor
December 20, 2007

Al-Arian’s Wife and Her Troubling Connections
By Joe Kaufman
July 6, 2007

Terrorist "Going Away Party" at Tampa Mosque for Al Arian's Wife
By Militant Islam Monitor
July 1, 2007

Lying About Al-Arian
By R.K. Joyad
February 20, 2007

Justice for a Traitor
By Robert Spencer
May 3, 2006

Let Al-Arian Rot
By Stephen M. Flatow
May 2, 2006

The Truth About Sami Al-Arian: Another "War on Terror" Failure
By Debbie Schlussel
April 20, 2006

The Florida Jihadist and His Defenders
By Robert Spencer
April 19, 2006

Funding Al-Arian's Supporters
By Joel Mowbray
April 17, 2006

Sami Al-Arian Says Farewell to America
By Christopher Flickinger
April 17, 2006

Al-Arian To Be Deported
By By Elaine Silvestrini
April 15, 2006

Ms. Jihad U
By Joe Kaufman
March 30, 2006

Death of a Terror Lobby
By Joe Kaufman
February 3, 2006

Al-Arian, Part II
By Debbie Schlussel
January 3, 2006

The Professor of Terror
By Ronald Radosh
January 2, 2006

Sami al-Arian: Genocidal, Anti-American Islamist Hero
By Joel Mowbray
December 12, 2005

Sami's Guardian Angel
By Paul Sperry
December 9, 2005

Why Al-Arian Walked
By Debbie Schlussel
December 9, 2005

Acquitting a Terrorist
By Joe Kaufman
December 7, 2005

The Al-Arian Mistrial
By New York Sun Editorial
December 7, 2005

Al-Arian Verdict Deals a Blow To U.S. Anti-Terror Campaign
By Josh Gerstein
December 7, 2005

No Convictions for Al-Arian
By Scott Jaschik
December 7, 2005

Jury Acquits Sami Al-Arian on Some Terrorism Charges, Deadlocks on Others
By John Gravois
December 7, 2005

Al-Arian Lied to the Press and Immigration Authorities, Lawyer Concedes
by Josh Gerstein
November 10, 2005

Defense Casts Al-Arian as Fighter Akin to Heroes of American Revolution
By Josh Gerstein
November 9, 2005

In Closing Arguments, Prosecutors Argue That Evidence Proves Fla. Professor Sought to Aid Terrorists
By John Gravois
November 9, 2005

'Professor by Day, Terrorist by Night'
By Josh Gerstein
November 8, 2005

Mainstream Reporter Coaches Sami Al-Arian 
By Daniel Pipes
August 30, 2005

Jihad in South Florida
By Robert Spencer
August 25, 2005

Al-Arian Letter to Kuwaiti Offered as Proof of Guilt
By Elaine Silvestrini
August 9, 2005

CAIRing for Sami Al-Arian
By Joe Kaufman
June 22, 2005

Sami Al-Arian's Islamic Academy
By Laura Mansfield
June 8, 2005

Friends in High Places
By Michael Isikoff
May 12, 2005

A Democratic Senate Candidate for Terror
By Daniel Pipes
October 19, 2004

The Would-Be Senator and the Terrorist
By Bill West
August 27, 2004

Why Al-Arian May Walk
By Robert Spencer
August 11, 2004

Lobby for Terror
By Thomas Ryan
April 28, 2004

A Pro-Terrorist Rally at Ohio State?
By Students for Academic Freedom
November 7, 2003

Professors for Sami
David Tell
June 17, 2003

The ACLU’s War on Homeland Security
By Jean Pearce
June 11, 2003

Terrorism and Other "Scholarly Pursuits"
By David Tell
June 9, 2003

American Association of University Professors: Lobby for the Left
By Nathan Giller
June 4, 2003

Lip-Service Liberators, Mailer, and more
By The Weekly Standard
March 24, 2003

Not In Our Name and the World Wide Terrorism Web
By Michael Tremoglie
March 19, 2003

Al-Arian: Terrorist Professor and His Campus Allies
By Robert Spencer
February 26, 2003

Professors for Terrorist Al-Arian
By Jonathan Schanzer
February 24, 2003

 


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al-Arian's Visual Map
 

  • Former professor at the University of South Florida
  • North American head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad
  • Active in the Islamic Society of North America, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the American Muslim Council, the American Muslim Alliance, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations
  • Co-founded the World and Islam Studies Enterprise
  • Created the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom
  • Former Chairman of the Islamic Academy of Florida



Born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents on January 14, 1958, Sami Al-Arian was educated in Egypt and then came to the United States in 1975. Three years later he earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical sciences and engineering from Southern Illinois University. He thereafter earned advanced degrees in computer engineering at North Carolina State University -- a master's degree in 1980 and a Ph.D. in 1985. As of 1981, he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. In 1986 he was hired as a professor of computer science by the University of South Florida (USF), where he eventually earned tenure.

As an academic, Al-Arian has published more than forty articles in his field of study. He is also a civil liberties activist who has been a key player in various Islamic-interest organizations, including the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the American Muslim Alliance, the American Muslim Council, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Academy of Florida (which he once chaired), and the Islamic Society of North America (which he co-founded). In 1991 he co-founded (with Ramadan Abdullah Shallah and Khalil Shikaki) the World Islam Study Enterprise (WISE).

In 1997 Al-Arian created the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom (NCPPF) in an effort to challenge the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1996, which was the predecessor to the Patriot Act of 2001. Pursuant to the Anti-Terrorism Act, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (a.k.a. PIJ, or simply Islamic Jihad) had been declared a terrorist organization; “material support” for terrorist organizations had been made explicitly illegal; the government’s use of secret evidence in terrorist cases had been authorized; and Professor Al-Arian’s brother-in-law Mazen al-Najjar had been arrested and incarcerated for his terrorist connections. Other key members of Al-Arian’s anti-Patriot Act coalition included the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and the National Lawyers Guild. CCR’s lead spokesman in the coalition was David Cole, Professor of Law at Georgetown University and the lawyer for Mazen al-Najjar.

Al-Arian himself had been the subject of an FBI investigation since 1996. He had long been publicly identified as a terrorist by close observers of the Islamic Jihad movement, including reporters for the Miami Herald and Investigative Project director Steven Emerson.

In his book American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us, Emerson gives evidence of how, at USF, Al-Arian founded and headed various terrorist fronts that operated as "the American arm of Islamic Jihad," and how Al-Arian damned the United States and Israel rhetorically while raising funds for terrorism overseas.

Emerson also had surreptitiously videotaped Al-Arian at a rally exhorting attendees, in English, to donate $500 so that a Palestinian terrorist could be financed to kill an Israeli Jew. Former U.S. attorney John Loftus, meanwhile, had obtained videotapes of Al-Arian exhorting murder in Arabic, and Loftus initiated a lawsuit to pressure the U.S. government to prosecute Al-Arian for complicity in international terrorism. The government was slow to act, however, partially because of Saudi pressure.

But on September 26, 2001, Al-Arian appeared on Fox News Channel’s O’Reilly Factor. The host confronted Al-Arian with his videotaped calls for terrorist jihad and declared, “If I was the CIA, I’d follow you wherever you went.” The ensuing public uproar produced enough embarrassment to USF officials that they finally suspended Al-Arian from his professorship, with pay, on December 19, 2001.

Al-Arian responded to the suspension by adopting the posture of a victim: “I’m a minority,” he said. “I’m an Arab. I’m a Palestinian. I’m a Muslim. That’s not a popular thing to be these days. Do I have rights, or don’t I have rights?”

The American Left sprang to Al-Arian’s defense. Their efforts included articles in The Nation and Salon.com, whose reporter Eric Boehlert lamented “The Prime Time Smearing of Sami Al-Arian.” The head of Georgetown’s Middle East Studies program, Professor John Esposito, expressed concern that Al-Arian not be made a “victim of … anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry.” And Professor Ellen Schrecker characterized Al-Arian’s suspension as an example of “political repression.”

Others who joined the Al-Arian defense chorus included the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the USF faculty union, and the American Association of University Professors, the latter of which threatened to challenge USF's accreditation on grounds that the school had “violated” Al-Arian’s “academic freedom.” Meanwhile, faculty at Duke University invited Al-Arian to be the featured speaker at an academic symposium on “National Security and Civil Liberties.”

In its investigation of Al-Arian, the FBI raided WISE headquarters and seized some 500 videotapes of conferences in which Al-Arian had participated, where funds had been raised to aid terrorism efforts overseas. One FBI surveillance video of Al-Arian’s fundraising tour of American mosques showed him being introduced as “the President of the Islamic Committee for Palestine … the active arm of the Islamic Jihad movement.” In addition to others in the video who praised the killing of Jews and Christians, Al-Arian declaimed, “God cursed those who are the sons of Israel ... Those people, God made monkeys and pigs ... Let us damn America, let us damn Israel, let us damn them and their allies until death.” In another videotaped speech, Al-Arian said: “We assemble today to pay respects to the march of the martyrs and to the river of blood that gushes forth and does not extinguish, from butchery to butchery, and from martyrdom to martyrdom, from jihad to jihad.”

The FBI further learned that Al-Arian had connections to the blind sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, mastermind of the first World Trade Center attack in 1993; to Hamas official Mohammed Sakr; to the high-ranking Sudanese terrorist Hassan Turbai; and to Islamic Jihad co-founder Abdel Aziz-Odeh.

In February 2003 a federal grand jury handed down a 50-count indictment against Al-Arian and six others in Tampa, Florida who were believed to be fellow leaders of PIJ.

In Al-Arian's 2005 trial (which began in June and went on for 5 months), his attorney conceded that the client was an operative for PIJ. A reporter covering the trial summarized: “The trial exposed the professor as having been deeply enmeshed in the internal workings of Palestinian Islamic Jihad …” On December 6, 2005, Al-Arian was acquitted on eight of the seventeen counts against him, including "conspiracy to murder and maim people abroad," which was the most serious charge. The remaining nine counts ended in what was considered a mistrial, as the jury was deadlocked on them.

On February 28, 2006, Al-Arian signed a plea agreement in which he agreed to plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy to "make or receive funds ... for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad." He was sentenced to 57 months in prison, (which included 38 months that he had already served). The judge who sentenced Al-Arian made reference to PIJ suicide bombings and told the defendant: "Anyone with even the slightest bit of human compassion would be sickened. Not you, you saw it as an opportunity to solicit more money to carry out more bombings." Vis a vis Al-Arian's claim that he had raised money for charities, the judge said: "Your only connection to widows and orphans was that you create them."

In June 2008, Al-Arian was indicted for criminal contempt after he repeatedly refused to testify before a federal grand jury investigating terror financing in northern Virginia. Al-Arian argued that his 2006 guilty plea contained an agreement absolving him of any future obligations to provide information to the government, either voluntarily or as a result of a court order. But Al-Arian's claim was rejected by the judge who had sentenced him in Tampa, by another judge in Alexandria, and by their respective circuit courts of appeal. Moreover, Al-Arian's attorneys have never produced any written evidence supporting their client's claim.

In April 2012, the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) reported: "The case has been frozen in limbo ... by U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema's refusal to rule on defense motions to dismiss the contempt case despite repeated promises to deliver a written order as far back as the spring of 2009."

Also in April 2012, Al-Arian issued a statement "on behalf of all victims of injustice," in which he named a number of "innocent" Muslims who had been "targeted ... because of their beliefs, opinions, associations, and advocacy":

"Today Ali Al-Tamimi is serving life for giving a religious fatwa. Tarek Mehanna is serving 17 years for translating a document. Mufid Abdel Kader is serving 20 years because he had a beautiful voice and sang for Palestine. Ghassan El-Ashi and Shukri Abu Baker are serving 65 years each for feeding and clothing hungry Palestinian children ... Aafi (sic) Siddqui was sentenced to 86 years after she was shot and nearly died."

In response to Al-Arian's statement, IPT set the record straight:

"Al-Tamimi's fatwa urged followers to wage war against American troops and help the Taliban. Mehanna was convicted of conspiracy to provide material support to al-Qaida, providing material support to terrorists and conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country. Abdel Kader, Elashi and Baker each were convicted for their work with the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which illegally routed more than $12 million to Hamas before being shut down in 2001. Aafia Siddiqui was apprehended in Afghanistan in possession of plans for a 'mass casualty attack' in the United States, including a list of New York City landmarks. Prosecutors say she grabbed an Army officer's M-4 rifle and fired it at another officer and other members of a U.S. interview team at an Afghan police compound in July 2008."

In early December 2013, Al-Arian attended a Washington, DC event hosted by the Egypt Freedom Foundation, a recently formed group advocating for the restoration of Muslim Brotherhood leadership in Egypt.

 

 

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