- Islamic think-tank that promotes the ideology of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas
Founded in Chicago in 1989 by Hamas operative Mousa Abu Marzook, the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR) is an Islamic think tank professing a commitment to “the study of ongoing issues in the Middle East, such as the Arab-Israeli conflict.” It also promotes the ideology of Hamas.
Mohammad Salah, a Hamas operative who the U.S. government identified as a “specially designated terrorist,” was an employee of UASR in the early 1990s. In 1993 Salah cooperated with Israeli prosecutors and provided information on Hamas activities in America. Revealing that UASR served as the base for the political command of Hamas in the United States, he identified Hamas official Ahmed Yousef as UASR’s Director.
“UASR is a front organization for a terrorist group,” says George Mason University professor Peter Leitner, President of the Higgins Counterterrorism Research Center. Leitner calls UASR “part of a shell game of international terrorism — phony organizations that are really terrorist cells [and] part of the international terrorist network.”
UASR was named in a May 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document — titled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America” — as one of the Brotherhood’s 29 likeminded “organizations of our friends” that shared the common goal of destroying America and turning it into a Muslim nation. These “friends” were identified by the Brotherhood as groups that could help teach Muslims “that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands … so that … God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions.”
Also named in the Muslim Brotherhood document were:
- Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers
- Association of Muslim Social Scientists (of North America)
- Audio-Visual Center
- Baitul Mal Inc.
- Foundation for International Development
- International Institute of Islamic Thought
- Islamic Association for Palestine
- Islamic Book Service
- Islamic Centers Division
- Islamic Circle of North America
- Islamic Education Department
- Islamic Housing Cooperative
- Islamic Information Center (of America)
- Islamic Medical Association (of North America)
- Islamic Teaching Center
- ISNA Fiqh Committee (now known as the Fiqh Council of North America)
- ISNA Political Awareness Committee
- Malaysian Islamic Study Group
- Mercy International Association
- Muslim Arab Youth Association
- Muslim Businessmen Association
- Muslim Communities Association
- Muslim Students Association of the U.S. and Canada
- Muslim Youth of North America
- North American Islamic Trust
- Occupied Land Fund (later known as the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development)
- United Association for Studies and Research
Former CIA operative Brian Fairchild asserts that “organizations like UASR” can advance the global terrorist agenda by “recruiting new members, raising funds to support international terrorism, and … actually support[ing] a terrorist attack in the U.S.”
Since late 2003, UASR has based its operations in a basement apartment located in the town of Springfield, Virginia. The windows of this basement are covered with a false brick contact paper, making it impossible to view the apartment from the outside. “From time to time,” reports CNSNews.com, “day or night, the occupants emerge from the office to make cell phone calls in the parking lot. … Government investigators say the use of prepaid disposable cell phones make it virtually impossible for them to obtain a wiretap. It all adds up, investigators say, to indications that the group may be taking a more active role in terrorist activities.”
In December 2003, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee asked the Internal Revenue Service for its records on UASR and two-dozen other Muslim groups as part of an investigation into possible links between non-governmental organizations and terrorist-financing networks.
In March 2004, UASR publicly condemned Israel’s targeted killing of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, describing him as the “founder and spiritual leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement in Palestine.” UASR demanded that Israel “end its policy of extra-judicial murders of Palestinian people, the destruction of their homes and property, and the continued illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories.”
In the summer 2007 Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) trial (which looked into evidence of HLF’s fundraising on behalf of Hamas), the U.S. government released a list of approximately 300 of HLF’s “unindicted co-conspirators”.pdf+%22holy+land+foundation%22+and+list+of+%22unindicted+co-conspirators%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us) and “joint venturers.” Among the unindicted co-conspirators were groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Hamas, INFOCOM, the Islamic Association for Palestine, the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim Arab Youth Association, the North American Islamic Trust, and the UASR. The list also included many individuals affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and/or Hamas. Among these were Omar Ahmad, Abdurahman Alamoudi, Yousef al-Qaradawi, Abdallah Azzam, Jamal Badawi, Mohammad Jaghlit, Mousa Abu Marzook, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, and Ahmed Yassin.