Is the tide turning in Boston? Are the feds starting to catch up with the Islamic radicals who have been operating without any hindrances for years in these parts? From today's Boston Globe:
"Three former leaders of a defunct Boston-based Islamic charity are scheduled to go on trial today in federal court, accused of lying to the government to win tax-exempt status for the charity and then using the nonprofit to distribute publications promoting jihad and to support Muslim militants overseas."
"In what is believed to be the first criminal trial in US District Court in Boston that will explore the role of US charities in financing terrorism, Emadeddin Muntasser, Muhamed Mubayyid, and Samir Al-Monla are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, tax violations, and making false statements."
Following up on the Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas, TX (which ended up in a mistrial but which will be retried), this suggests that the federal government is really catching up to these groups. Bravo! Unfortunately, some PC thinking by the judge is present here:
"To try to prevent prejudice against the men, US District Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV has barred prosecutors from referring to Osama bin Laden, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, or Al Qaeda."
"He has not decided whether references to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing will be allowed."
For heaven's sakes, if these men are connected to Al Quaeda or the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, why wouldn't that be allowed? Is the judge tying the prosecutors hands before the trial has begun?
"Potential jurors will be told that Muntasser, 42, of Braintree, was born in Libya; that Mubayyid, 42, of Shrewsbury, is a native of Lebanon; and that Monla, 50, of Boston, was born in Kuwait and is a US citizen."
"Three years ago, Muntasser sued the government for failing to act on his application for US citizenship. The following year, he was indicted with Mubayyid. They were charged with conspiring to conceal information from the government to win tax-exempt status for their charity, Massachusetts Care International Inc. They also were charged with making false statements. Earlier this year, Monla was added to the indictment."
"...The government alleges that in the early 1990s, the three men were involved in operating the Boston branch of Al-Kifah Refugee Center - which supported Muslims engaged in violent, religiously based military conflict overseas - and published a pro-jihad newsletter called Al-Hussam, Arabic for The Sword."
"After members of the New York office of Al-Kifah were linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York, the Boston branch of Al-Kifah was disbanded, and Muntasser founded its successor organization, Massachusetts Care International, the indictment alleges. The group is not affiliated with the global relief organization CARE International."
Hmm, Al-Kifah, where have I heard that before? Ahh yes, Aafia Siddiqi - former MIT trained biochemist, now wanted by the FBI - used to work for Al-Kifah in Brooklyn. I'm only speculating here, but I bet there were ample ties between Al-Kifah Brooklyn and Al-Kifah Boston.
Muntasser and Mubayyid were arrested back in May 2005. The original DOJ statement about Muntasser and Mubayyid can be found here. In March 2007, Muntasser was reindicted, this time for lying to a federal grand jury (when will people learn not to lie to the feds?). The fed's indictment for that can be read here.
The Investigative Project noted connections between Care International and Al Qaeda a year ago. Care had a notable founder, Abdullah Azzam, bin Laden's mentor and godfather of the global jihad movement:
"....A publication of Al-Hussam claimed that Mr. Azzam himself founded the Boston-based Care International, according to the FBI. 'Care is a nonprofit organization founded by Imam Abdullah Azzam to provide services to war victims and refugees around the world,' according to a Care International pamphlet cited by the FBI in a court filing."
"....Court records in the Worcester case say checks deposited into Care International accounts had phrases such as "for jihad only" and "Bosnia Jihad fund" and "Chechen Muslim Fighters" handwritten on the memo lines of donors' personal checks."
Go get 'em, Feds!