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Terrorist Fundraising and Recruitment in Portland, Oregon

The Investigative Project (stopterror@aol.com) I.) II.) III.) The 1998 East Africa Embassy Bombing Connection The Al-Haramain Foundation The Islamic Center of Portland (Masjid As-Saber)

Long before the attacks of September 11th, counterterrorism researchers and investigators have focused on a disturbing pattern of radical Islamic fundamentalist activity in the state of Oregon. Those suspicions were heightened in the wake of the 1998 East Africa Embassy Bombings (attributed by the U.S. government to Usama Bin Laden and the Al-Qaida military organization). During the 2001 trial of conspirators in that attack, a number of Portland-area residents were implicated as associates of convicted Al-Qaida operatives. An investigation of those U.S. citizens has uncovered a wide network of fundamentalist activists based in Portland, with connections to at least three other states (Colorado, Michigan, and Wisconsin) and a major national Muslim political and religious group, the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA). Moreover, there are strong indications that these individuals are involved in significant material support and recruitment for designated foreign terrorist organizations (FTO's). The 1998 East Africa Embassy Bombing Connection Wadih el-Hage, a naturalized American citizen originally from Lebanon, joined the AlQaida military organization and became the personal secretary of Usama bin Laden. Under the direction of Bin Laden and Al-Qaida, El-Hage, and, others engineered a plot to simultaneously bomb two U.S. Embassies in East Africa on August 7, 1998. El-Hage's personal papers and addressbook, submitted as evidence in the trials of the Embassy bombers, contain names and addresses of El-Hage's international contacts, including many Al-Qaida activists. The addressbook contained the following name and address: "Khalil Zaidan 4611 Luradel Street Suite 13 Portland, OR 97219"

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As a result of this evidence, Zaidan was subpoenaed at Wadih El-Hage's trial, despite El-Hage's motion to "quash any outstanding grand jury subpoenas."2 Zaidan has a history of involvement in fundamentalist terror activity. &$ According to phone records obtained during :the 1993 World Trade Center bombing trial, Zaidan's Portland-based company Rampart Technologies was called at least once by the Al-KifahRefugee Center.3 Until its closure in 1994, Al-Kifah was the U.S. branch of

1 U.S. v. Usama bin Laden, et al. United States District Court for-the Southern District of New York. 116 F. Supp. 2d 489; 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14507. October 5, 2000, Decided. October 5, 2000, Filed. 2 U.S. v. Usama bin Laden, et al. United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. 116 F. Supp. 2d 489; 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14507. October 5, 2000, Decided. October 5, 2000, Filed. 3 Phone records found amongst material taken from the Al-Kifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn, NY.

Pittsburgh Tribune Investigation A call for 'holy war1
By Betsy Kiel and Chuck Plunkett Jr. TRIBUNE-REVIEW Sunday, August 4, 2002

In July 2000, the last edition of Assirat Al-Mustaqeem, an Arabic-language magazine published in Pittsburgh, advocated jihad - "holy war" - against the West. Ten months later - and four months before Sept. 11 - the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA) posted Web-site justifications of "martyrdom operations," such as crashing an airplane "on a crucial enemy target." Like all extremists, radical Islamists speak with hateful tongues. But the militancy promoted in Assirat Al-Mustaqeem (The Straight Path) between 1991 and 2000 alarms experts consulted by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. They say it echoed the virulent anti-Americanism of Osama bin Laden's videotaped rants - years before he became the global face of terrorism. The magazine's quality, its duration and its presence in an American city such as Pittsburgh surprise them, too. More disturbing, an eight-month Trib investigation found close connections between Assirat and Islamist organizations such as IANA across the United States. Those groups endorse an extreme strain of Islam - one that labels the United States an enemy, defines American values as evil and clamors for "holy war." Assirat and IANA maintained close operating ties for years. A number of Assirat writers left Pittsburgh to work for IANA in Michigan -- and for an Islamic charity in Illinois that U.S. authorities accuse of terrorist ties. Several experts say the movement between groups suggests a loose network intent on radicalizing Muslims here and abroad. Some of those individuals and groups are under surveillance by U.S. authorities, sources say. An FBI spokesman in Pittsburgh "cannot confirm or deny" a local investigation. In addition, the magazine cast a shadow over two other Pittsburgh organizations: Attawheed Foundation, made up mostly of Middle Eastern graduate students at local universities, and Al Andalus School, attended by many of their children. Attawheed members deny ties to Assirat or extremism. But Assirat's publisher and editor were officers of Attawheed; one of its writers taught at the school. The school's Web site

Magazine writers moved on to Islamist groups
By The Tribune-Review Sunday, August 4, 2002

YPSILANTI, Mich. - A militant religious message is spread worldwide from this city outside Detroit by a group of Islamists with connections to Pittsburgh. Working in the onetime office of an accountant, the Islamic Assembly of North America promotes its views through books, magazines, Internet sites, a radio program, a prison ministry and conferences. Two Algerians who wrote for Assirat Al-Mustaqeem, the Arabic-language magazine once published in Pittsburgh, are now on lANA's staff. They are among a number of former Assirat staff and other men who have moved between Pittsburgh and other U.S. cities, associating with organizations or individuals with known or suspected ties to Islamist movements. Other names connected with IANA have surfaced repeatedly over a decade with Islamist movements in the United States and in Middle Eastern countries. The two former Assirat writers are just the latest incarnation of a Pittsburgh-connected relationship that began in the 1990s. Assirat regularly published articles about IANA; lANA's officers contributed articles to the magazine or sat on its advisory board. The relationship did not end when Assirat folded in July 2000. Attawheed Foundation, made up mostly of Saudi graduate students attending Pittsburgharea universities, retains IANA as one of two beneficiaries of its assets. Attawheed also listed IANA as a financial reference for donors. And Al Andalus, the private school in Pittsburgh attended by many Attawheed members' children, maintained links on its Web site to lANA's Internet sites. One IANA site reprinted three fatwas — Islamic legal opinions — that encouraged "martyrdom" attacks against enemy targets just four months before Sept. 11. Among the examples cited in one fatwa was the crashing of an airplane into an enemy target. Spokesmen for Attawheed insist "no special relationship" exists between their foundation and IANA. But an IANA employee said he is familiar with Attawheed and described the two groups' relationship as financial.
Like a 'father'

Math behind foundation's finances doesn't add up
By The Tribune-Review Sunday, August 4, 2002

Attawheed Foundation operates primarily on $20 donated monthly by each of its 50 or so member-families, its representatives say. But its activities point to more substantial funding — far over the limit for nonprofits to begin filing federal tax reports. Attawheed claims an exemption from filing Internal Revenue Service reports because it attests to taking in less than the $25,000 annual filing threshold for nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations. Without that exemption, its records would be public. In 1994, however, Attawheed advertised for donations in Assirat magazine, to help raise $500,000 to build a mosque. It repeated the solicitation on the Internet in 1995, declaring: "We aim to collect $200,000 from Muslims." In May 2001, the foundation paid $1 million for a building in Green Tree. No mortgage exists in county records, suggesting the foundation paid in full. County records list the sale price as $880,000. But a source familiar with the deal set the price at $1 million. The sale was structured, that source says, as a "purchase with chattel," which allows a seller and a buyer to agree on a higher, unrecorded price for tax purposes. Money excluded from the recorded figure is considered as buying accessories or furnishings separate from the real estate. Former CIA counter-terrorism specialist Peter Probst says "it defies logic that they could purchase a million-dollar house if they only have $25,000 in (annual) assets." Attawheed spokesman Nazeeh Alothmany confirmed the $1 million figure, saying it was raised over 12 years through fund-raising dinners. ."People come, get a speaker — somebody speaks, and people start donating. You get about $100,000. You get about $120,000. You get $60,000, $70,000, when you make a formal fund-raising dinner." The property was entangled for months in a zoning dispute, involving legal and professional-engineering services. The cost of those services is unknown. Even without buying the Green Tree property, Attawheed had regular expenditures. It pays $750 monthly, or $9,000 a year, to rent a South Hills motel conference room for weekly prayer and other meetings, according to the motel's owner. Attawheed has continued to seek donations on its Web page to "carry out the message of the tawheed and spread the enlightenment of Islam until Allah's will is done and his religion supreme over all others."

One man's path from magazine to suspect charity
By The Tribune-Review Sunday, August 4, 2002

Mohammad Mogahed appears to embody the criss-crossing connections between Islamic organizations in Pittsburgh and across the country. Whether innocently coincidental or evidence of intentional networking, those connections illustrate the difficulty that federal authorities face in trying to untangle the investigative threads. Mogahed enrolled in graduate architectural studies at Carnegie Mellon University from 1994 to 1996. Neighbors of his old Strachan Avenue apartment, in Pittsburgh's Banksville neighborhood, described him as religious and private - leaving each morning at 5 a.m., then returning and remaining home for most of the day. He and another CMU student formed a company, Digital Art Technologies, whose address was Assirat AlMustaqeem's former office on Potomac Avenue in Dormont. Mogahed also worked for Assirat, rising from managing editor to editor in chief in its final months. Nearly a year after the magazine stopped publishing, he left Pittsburgh to work for Global Relief Foundation. The ChicagOr-area Islamic charity advertised in the magazine, as did two other charities, Benevolence International and Holy Land Foundation. FBI agents raided Global Reliefs office in December, jailing its chairman and freezing its assets. They contend Global Relief acted as a fund-raising front for Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network - an allegation denied by Global Reliefs attorneys and supporters. Benevolence International and Holy Land Foundation also are under federal investigation. Global Reliefs alleged terrorist ties include a connection to Wadih El-Hage, convicted in federal court of raising money for the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa. Two other Assirat writers once shared a Portland, Ore., address with an alleged El-Hage associate who was subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in that case. In another Pittsburgh link to Global Relief, the Attawheed Foundation gave $9,090 to the charity in 2000. Former FBI analyst Matthew Levitt says the Pittsburgh foundation's donation "does not necessarily make them partners in those crimes, although it may. There are a lot of people knowing full well what these organizations were about - that is why they gave money." Yet many devout Muslims donated to Global Relief, he adds, because it was one of the big Islamic charities in America. "If they were religious people and wanted to give money, this is where they would give it."

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Muslim World League
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Human Concern International
Human Concern International (IK'I) #000689106 •Feb. 1980: Incorporation •Afghanistan Relief Fund •Oct. 17, 1986: Incorporation •877 Shefford Road, Gloucester, ON •PO Box 3984 Station C, Ottawa, ON •Abu Nazir, Sulaiman, A Khan, Ahmed Malek •Dec. 28, 1988: Transact Business in MI •41197Stonehaven, Northville,MT48167 •Sajid Siddique •Attorney: Sner Akhtar •Kaleem Akhtar •Nov. 24, 1993: Special Notice •160Metcalfe#202, ON •June 23, 1994: Notice of change •Fmr. Name—Human Concern Relief Fund Society •Apr. 19, 2001: 2000 Information Update •Mumtaz Akhtar, Sajid Siddique, Faizel Kathrada, Ayesha Waheed, Hafizar Rahman, Allam Siddiqi, Azhar Syed, Faisal Qutty, Mohammad Rida Beshir •Oct. 22, 2002: 2001 Information Update •Abdurrahman Salman, Azhar Syed •Oct. 29, 2002: 2002 Information Update •Farooqi Baksh, Taha Qyrbi, Irshan Mousa

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1988: Incorporation •:•.'.' ,. •31967 Block St., Garden City, MI 48135 •908 S Harrison, East Lansing, Ml 48823 1 I ..>:ii:i<1' • :'', • ;;•;."'.•Incorporated By—4)mar Souhbani 'Boafo of Directors—Ibrahim Hasabullah/Dr.' Say Syced, Mohammad al Ma ooti, Oinar S' nd Article rporation i Hasabull endrnent t s of Incorporation : 248 Ciart MI 48135 ' :: cy International - 1 J.S.A., Inc. C'llANC: oubanni lercy In •nl U.S.A., Inc. 734-583 ^larne: Mercy f n U i n , i U > i , . i l ity, MI 4813.-< M748135
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Mercy for International Relief Agency lite. #1136779 •July 26, 1995: Incorporation •2.7 Russet Court Stoney Creek, ONL8EC35CANADA. : •Faizil Baksh, Muhammad Ahmed.l/iMor^lff al-Qadi •July 1997: Newsletter •110 Eugenie St. W.; #138, ; , .Winsor, ONN8X4Y6 CANADA, •Sept. 2002: Newsletter •5060 Tecumseh Road E., Box 138, Winsor, ON N8T1C1 •CANADA ,'.,, - 002:Comor •44:450:Pfne •Zakia:Maha AliiElmensh

Human Concern International, Inc. (CO) •Feb. 6, 1986: Incorporation •3800 E Jewell Ave #302 Denver, CO 80210 •Majed al Refae, M A Paris, Abdurrazaq radi, Bashir el Kabti •Apr. 8, 1987: Amendment to Articles •Abdurrazaq Aradi, Bashir el Kabti •May/June, 1987: Solicitation in Islamic Horizons •P.O. BOX 22525, Denver, CO 8Q222 •Nov. 9, 1988: Transact business in Michigan •Ml CID #900-494 •5303 E Evans Ave #201, Denver, CO 80222 •31967 Block St., Garden City, MI 48135 •Registered Agent—Imliaz Ahmad •Director—Omar Soubanni

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International Development Foundation

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Archcon Mgmt

Global Chemical
Mercy International

Soleiman Biheiri

Mohamad Mabrook

Bosnian Relief Muslim Financial Group

Jamal Nyrabeah Quranic Literacy Institute

Associative Design Technology