by Prof. Gordon L. Bowen, Ph.D.
Mr. Alamoudi was carrying some interesting luggage when British authorities took him into custody. The suitcase contained $340,000 cash; he was attempting to board a plane bound for Damascus, Syria. This case illustrates the connections between apparent Muslim moderates, charitable activities, the funding methods used by international terrorist networks, and states that assist them. Court documents related to the case included wiretapped information that indicated Alamoudi's support for the bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. That act, which killed nearly 100 Argentine Jews, occurred on July 18, 1994, and usually is attributed to Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shi'a international terrorist organization.
Alamoudi was a leader of the Muslim community in the U.S. He was the founder and former executive director of the American Muslim Council (AMC), and was the founder of the American Muslim Foundation (AMF).
He was active in charitable organizations focused on raising monies from the Muslim American community. He was secretary of the Success Foundation, and President of the Hajj Foundation. All of these organizations are headquartered in Alexandria, VA or Washington DC. Court documents establish that in 2002 Alamoudi and others bought a building that houses the AMC, the AMF, and the Hajj Foundation, for $2.5 million.
He openly espoused the cause of both Hamas and of Hezbollah. At a rally in Lafayette Park (DC) on October 28, 2000, over a public address system he told the crowd:
"Anybody support this Hamas here? Anybody’s [sic] is a supporter of Hamas
here? Anybody’s [sic] is a supporter of Hamas here? Hear that Bill Clinton, we
are all supporters of Hamas! Allah akbar [God is greater]. I wish to add here I am
also a supporter of Hezbollah! Anybody supports Hezbollah here? Anybody
supports Hezbollah here?"
A naturalized U.S. citizen (1996) born in Eritrea (though then it was part of Ethiopia), he also worked as an agent of the government of Libya. Court records which he affirmed cited over $900,000 received from the Libyans. His own statements to British officials after his arrest acknowledged ten trips to Libya. In 2000, Alamoudi joined World Islamic Call, an organization known to the U.S. Government since 1985 to be a front for Libya that sponsors terrorism.
He openly advocated the cause of terrorists involved in acts of terrorism within the U.S. In 1996, in a speech to the Islamic Association of Palestine annual convention in Illinois, Alamoudi said:
"When will you talk to the President to free Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman?
Brothers, it's an investment, we all are in this together, unless you help us with it,
we cannot do it."
All Americans should learn who Rahman is: he organized the first attack on the World Trade Center, and currently is serving a life term in federal prison for involvement in plots to blow up tunnels in the New York area.
Alamoudi accepted the validity of various criminal charges filed against him, and entered a plea of guilty. On October 19, 2004, U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia sentenced Alamoudi to 23 years in prison. After his sentencing, U.S. Attorney Paul J. McNulty of the Eastern District of Virginia said: "This is a clear victory in the war against terrorism... Terrorists need money to operate, and the defendant was caught in the act of financing their deadly schemes."
Matthew Levitt, from “Untangling the Terror Web: Identifying and Counteracting the Phenomenon of Crossover Between Terrorist Groups,” SAIS Review (Winter 2004), in Howard and Sawyer, pp 137-150.
Daniel Pipes' timeline on the case: http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/98
U.S. District Court documents, and further documents, via FindLaw
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