Born in Iraqi Kurdistan, Ahmad Totonji was educated in the United Kingdom and is a citizen of Saudi Arabia. He was a co-founder of the Muslim Students Association in the early 1960s and subsequently served a stint as its secretary general. In the Sixties as well, Totonji helped form the Islamic Society of North America. And during the late Seventies and early Eighties he served as assistant secretary general of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth. Around that same time period, Totonji was both a co-founder and officer of the SAAR Trust and the International Institute for Islamic Thought.
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Totonji was a key target of Operation Green Quest, a federal initiative designed to seize the assets of U.S.-based terrorist organizations and terrorism funders posing as legitimate businesses or charities. In 2002 he was named as a defendant in a multi-trillion-dollar lawsuit that some 600+ relatives of the 9/11 murder victims filed against various individuals, foreign banks, and charities that had funded the terrorist network responsible for the attacks.
Totonji met more than once with Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al-Arian. In a letter seized by U.S. investigators, al-Arian wrote that in one of those meetings, Totonji had promised to give him $20,000.
Totonji also has had personal ties to Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam (NOI). At a February 2000 meeting with Farrakhan, for instance, Totonji presented each NOI imam with a gift set of eight books on Islam, and he voiced his hope that NOI would bolster Islam’s influence in North America.
Further Reading: “A Troubling Presence at a Funeral” ( by Ben Johnson, FrontPage Magazine, 6-11-2004); “The Brotherhood’s Westward Expansion” (by Ian Johnson, Hudson Institute, 2-5-2008); Radical Islam in America: Salafism’s Journey from Arabia to the West (by Chris Heffelfinger, 2011, page 83); Islam and Cultural Change in Papua New Guinea (by Scott Flower, 2017, page 127); “9/11 Families Sue Saudis, Sudan for $3 Trillion – Defendants Accused of Funding Al Qaeda” (San Francisco Chronicle, 8-16-2002).