Established in 1986 by Sami Al-Arian and Hussam Jubara, the Islamic Committee for Palestine (ICP) was promoted as a philanthropic advocacy group devoted to alleviating the suffering of Palestinian women and children. In reality, the organization served as an American front for the terrorist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad. At a 1991 conference in Cleveland, Ohio, a lecturer introducing Al-Arian as the ICP President candidly called the Committee "the active arm of the Jihad movement in Palestine." “We like to call it the Islamic Committee for Palestine here for security reasons,” he added. Shortly after being introduced that evening, Al-Arian declared, “Let us continue the protests. Let us damn America. Let us damn Israel. Let us damn their allies until death.”
In addition to financing Palestinian suicide bombers, ICP organized rallies and sponsored a number of conferences throughout the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s. PIJ materials and emblems were prominently displayed at these events, where known terrorists were among the attendees and keynote speakers alike. Featured speakers at ICP conferences included: Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, leader of the Islamic Group and mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; Sheikh Abdel Aziz Odeh, the spiritual leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ); Mohammad Al-Asi, a Hezbollah-linked radical imam who used an ICP event as a forum to exhort Muslims to create a “war front for the Americans in the Muslim world”; Abd Al-'Aziz Al'Awda, Islamic Jihad's "spiritual leader"; and Muhammad 'Umar, whose Islamic Liberation Party seeks to overthrow secular government institutions throughout the Middle East.
ICP also invited several guest speakers who could not attend its conferences, including PIJ's then-leader Fathi Shikaki, and Osama bin Laden’s ideological mentor and al Qaeda co-founder Abdullah Azzam.
ICP functioned as a sister organization to another Sami Al-Arian creation: the World Islam Study Enterprise (WISE). Through ICP's and WISE’s pretense of legitimacy, Al-Arian was able to secure visas for terror-related individuals seeking to gain entry into the United States. Among these was Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, who served as WISE’s Director of Administration and became PIJ's worldwide leader in 1995 (when Fathi Shikaki was assassinated).
Shallah’s elevation within PIJ prompted a federal investigation into ICP and WISE. In a 1995 affadavit, William West of the Immigration and Naturalization Service wrote: “I have probable cause to believe that ICP and WISE were utilized by Sami Al-Arian and Ramadan Abdullah Shallah as ‘fronts’ in order to enable individuals to enter the United States, in an apparent lawful fashion, despite the fact that these individuals were international terrorists.”
ICP and WISE were financed by the Virginia-based SAAR Network, which was the target of U.S. federal raids in March 2002, on suspicion that it was funding terrorism.