Khaled Smaili was the Public Relations Representative for the Global Relief Foundation (GRF), which the U.S. government shut down in December 2001 because of its ties to terrorism.
On July 28, 2000, Smaili presented a check for $18,000 to Imam Ismaa’eel H. Hackett, the director for the North American Islamic Foundation (NAIF), which is located in Wilmington, Delaware. Hackett was the spiritual advisor to Abdullah Tanzil Hameen (a.k.a. Cornelius Ferguson). Hameen was found guilty of, and received the death penalty for, the murder of 22-year-old Troy Hodges. At the time, “Hameen was on parole for a murder committed in 1980.”
NAIF filed a motion in court to postpone the execution, a motion that was denied. Hackett is quoted as saying, “G-d states that a Muslim cannot be put to death for killing a disbeliever [non-Muslim]. Based on those premises, we have to say that Abdullah Hameen should not be put to death.”
Immediately after the GRF was shut down by the U.S. government, a new charity – KindHearts – was formed, with Smaili as its President and CEO.
After the formation of KindHearts, at the behest of Smaili, the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), an organization created by Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook, asked people to donate funds to KindHearts to be used for “IAP activities.”
Smaili sent the following message to the IAP: “It is also with great satisfaction that I am able to report that just prior to the start of Ramadan, we received our 501-C(3) tax exemption status from the U.S. government; therefore, all of your contributions are now tax exempt. Please rush your Zakat and Sadaqa in the return envelope today, or donate online at www.kind-hearts.org.”
In turn, the IAP sent the following message to its supporters: “In this happy and blessed occasion of Eid Al-Adha, we ask you to extend a helping hand to the IAP’s activities by sending your donation to IAP office (www.iap.org) or/and give EID gift, SADAQAH, and UDHIA to your brothers and sisters in Palestine through the KINDHEARTS (www.kind-hearts.org). May Allah bless you and your family, and reward you for all of your support and help.”
On November 15, 2002, Smaili was the featured speaker at a fundraiser sponsored by Masjid Annur Islamic Center located in Sacramento, California. It is reported that in the early 1990’s, the head of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Ayman al Zawahiri, raised $4000 to $5000 at Masjid Annur. Ayman al Zawahiri would later become Osama bin Laden’s second in command in al Qaeda.
A May 2003 convention sponsored by Masjid Annur, entitled “ISLAM: The Way of Life,” featured Wagdy Ghuneim. In a May 1998 Brooklyn College rally titled “Palestine – 50 Years of Occupation,” Ghuneim attempted to persuade the crowd to support jihad. He stated, “Allah says he who equips the warrior of jihad is like the one who makes jihad himself.” At the rally, Ghuneim also let his feelings about Jews be known, when he led the audience in song with the lyrics: “No to the Jews, descendants of the apes.”
On May 10, 2003, Smaili was a featured speaker at a fundraising event sponsored by the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR). The ICBR has been the focus of numerous press reports concerning its extremist personalities. This includes the center’s imam, Ibrahim Dremali, who, at a rally in Miami, told the crowd “not to be sad for those who were martyred and to not be afraid to die for what they believe in.”
On January 14, 2004, The Senate Finance Committee asked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for information concerning KindHearts, “as part of an investigation into possible links between nongovernmental organizations and terrorist financing networks.”