While American campuses are crawling with pro-terror professors, none is as deeply involved in actual perpetration of terrorism as "Professor" Sami al-Arian. Now it turns out that the Professor of Jihad had been awfully cozy with certain politicians in very high places.
Claiming to be a Palestinian born in Kuwait, al-Arian had been a tenured prof of engineering at the University of South Florida when he came to the attention of the FBI for his role in the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, responsible for many mass murders and suicide bombings of Israeli civilians. The Federal Bureau of Investigation began investigating Al-Arian's connections to Islamofascist terror groups in the early 1990s, including via wiretaps. It gathered information on Al-Arian and two other professors from USF. In some of the intercepted conversations, Al-Arian allegedly praised suicide bombings, kidnappings and drive-by shootings. "I call upon you to try to extend true support to the jihad effort in Palestine so that operations such as these can continue," he wrote in one fund-raising appeal after a suicide bombing that killed 22 Israelis in 1995.
Al-Arian appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on September 26, shortly after the September 11th attacks. Bill O'Reilly reported charges from fifteen years earlier that alleged Al-Arian had used a university-affiliated Islamic "think tank" that he headed as a front for Palestinian terrorist organizations. On February 20, 2003, the FBI arrested Al-Arian after indicting him and seven others on 50 terrorism-related charges. The University of South Florida finally got around to sacking al-Arian after he was indicted for terrorism, a fine example of doing too little too late. Several politicians who had been involved in the coddling of al-Arian have paid a political price for their stupidity.
Attorney General Ashcroft alleged at a press conference that Al-Arian was the North American head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Al-Arian also co-founded the Islamic Association for Palestine, which funnels funds to terror organizations. Naturally - this all made him the hero du jour of the academic Moonbatocracy, which complains that academic freedom includes the right to organize and fund genocidal terrorism. The NY Times decided to honor the 9-11 victims of New York by showing its support for the Florida professor of terrorism. Al-Arian's trial is slated to begin in Tampa, Florida, in early June.
Now it seems that al-Arian had some contacts with some friends in some very high offices. Newsweek just reported that al-Arian's lawyer, William Moffit, will introduce evidence that his client attended numerous meetings at the White House and met with high-level figures in both political parties, including Hillary Clinton and White House political director Karl Rove. Moffit states that Al-Arian attended meetings at the White House with both Clinton and Bush every year between 1998 and 2001, attended a briefing at the Justice Department in July 2001, met with Al Gore in November 1998 and Hillary Clinton in October 1999.
Al-Arian did in fact have his photograph taken with President Bush when he was campaigning in Florida in March 2000 and later was among 150 Muslim-American activists invited to the White House to attend an "outreach" briefing that was given by Rove. Perhaps the White House might learn a lesson from all this about the payoff from pretending that Islamist fascists are moderate and pro-West.
About the Writer: Dr. Plaut is a professor of business administration at the University of Haifa, and the author of "The Scout," available from Gefen Publishing House at: http://www.israelbooks.com/bookDetails.asp?book=43.