Florida Atlantic University is pressing federal officials for an official statement on disputed claims that a visiting professor has terrorist ties.
U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton, also asked the U.S. State Department about the allegations after they arose last fall, according to a letter FAU supplied Wednesday.
The professor, Mustafa Abu Sway, has denied the allegations. A Jordanian who teaches at FAU's Honors College in Jupiter on a federally backed Fulbright grant, Abu Sway has lectured repeatedly on attempts to reach interfaith understanding.
But pro-Israel think tank founder Daniel Pipes alleges Abu Sway is linked to Hamas, which Washington has labeled a terrorist group.
Pipes, the head of the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum, made the allegations in New York newspapers in October and again this week. He cited "Israeli sources."
In an October letter to the Middle East Forum, an Israeli consulate official in Miami said Abu Sway was "known as an activist in the framework of the Hamas organization." The consulate later declined to comment.
FAU officials say they brought Pipes' allegations to the State Department in October and were told the agency would review Abu Sway's background, but had no indication he was involved in terrorism.
Similarly, a State Department official told Wexler in a December letter that "an initial review ... found nothing substantiating [Pipes' report]," but "we are continuing to look into the issue."
The State Department had no immediate comment on the matter Wednesday night, spokesman Steve Pike said. FAU officials contacted the State Department again this week, asking for a formal statement on the status of the agency's review, if any, of Abu Sway.
"We would just like clarification, at this point," FAU spokeswoman Aileen Izquierdo said.
Abu Sway could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.