- Former professor at Florida Atlantic University
- Colleague of, and co-author with, Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami Al-Arian
Bassem Al Halabi is a former professor of computer science and engineering at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). He was also the co-founder (along with fellow professor Khalid Hamza) and treasurer of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, Florida. At FAU, Al Halabi and Hamza were given $1 million worth of research grants which included travel expenses to conferences. The pair also started a computer business venture called Cadet.
At one time, Al Halabi served as a research assistant for University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian, who was the North American leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Al Halabi and Al-Arian co-wrote several publications, one of which was featured at a conference in Damascus — the home base of PIJ. When Al Halabi first sought employment at FAU, he named Al-Arian as a reference.
Al Halabi also produced some publications with Hussam Jubara, who co-founded, along with Sami Al-Arian, the Islamic Committee for Palestine. Al Halabi acknowledges having worked for his “close friend,” Jubara.
Al Halabi once illegally shipped to Syria a $13,000 thermal imaging device, an item commonly used by fire departments, military units, and law-enforcement and government agencies to produce heat-sensitive images of buildings and landscapes. The Commerce Department restricts the export of such devices to foreign countries. Al Halabi claimed that he had sent it as a gift to his brother, who allegedly wanted to use it to search for gold.
As punishment for having sent this illegal shipment, Al Halabi was sentenced to a one-year loss of his export privileges.