June 9, 2005
For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Kaufman (joe4rep@gate.net)

SARASOTA MOSQUE RAISES MONEY FOR FAMILIES OF SUICIDE BOMBERS

IMAM OF BOCA MOSQUE NAMED AS WITNESS IN THE
TRIAL AGAINST SAMI AL-ARIAN

(Coral Springs, FL) Opening statements for the trial against Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Sami Al-Arian took place last Monday, June 6th. Al-Arian and three of his associates are accused of using two non-profit groups and a children's school to funnel money to PIJ for use in suicide missions in Israel.

On the government witness list for the trial is Muneer Arafat, currently the Imam of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR). ICBR recently made national headlines when one of its congregants, Rafiq Abdus Sabir, was caught plotting to go overseas and aid members of Al-Qaeda. In addition, one of ICBR's current Directors, Bassem Alhalabi, was a research assistant for Al-Arian and published materials with Al-Arian at the University of South Florida (USF).

Before arriving in Boca Raton, Muneer Arafat was the Imam of the Islamic Society of Sarasota and Bradenton (ISSB) mosque. The mosque is located an hour south of the Islamic Academy of Florida (IAF), one of the institutions that Al-Arian was using to funnel money to PIJ.

ISSB featured repeated guest appearances by Al-Arian colleagues Mazen Al-Najjar and Hussam Jubara. Al-Najjar, who was a Director of IAF, was deported from the United States in August of 2002. Jubara, who co-founded the Islamic Concern Project (ICP) with Al-Arian, plead guilty in August of 2003 to lying on immigration forms.

Al-Arian, himself, was a guest at ISSB, in May of 2001. At this time, Al-Arian was actively raising funds for the families of suicide bombers.

ISSB was also active in raising funds for these families. In its January 2001 edition of its monthly newsletter THE FAITH, under the title 'Aqsa Victims (2),' it is written: "The second payment of donations for Aqsa victims were sent [sic] the martyrs families and needy in the West Bank in Palestine. Alhamdullah we managed to send $4,000 by one of our dedicated brothers."

Joe Kaufman, Chairman of Americans Against Hate, stated, "Given the fact that Al-Arian's colleagues were heavily involved with ISSB, and given the fact that ISSB was raising money for the families of martyrs, it is imperative that law enforcement focus much of its efforts on ISSB."

Joe Kaufman is available for interview. E-mail: joe4rep@gate.net.

 


© 2005 Americans Against Hate