Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Queens Democrat: Ease JFK grill of Osama 'ally'
By ISABEL VINCENT and MELISSA KLEIN
US Rep. Gregory Meeks scolded immigration officials for questioning a Muslim scholar whose nonprofits have been linked to financing terrorism.
The Queens Democrat contacted federal agencies -- finally appealing to then-Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff -- asking why Anwar Hajjaj faced "unwarranted scrutiny" when he returned to the United States from trips abroad through JFK Airport. Meeks described Hajjaj as a "highly regarded" professor of Islamic studies who leads Friday Muslim prayers at the Capitol. Meeks said Hajjaj was "a pioneer in distance-based learning of Islam" through the American Open University in Virginia, according to a copy of the Sept. 30, 2006, letter to Chertoff, which was obtained by The Post under a Freedom of Information Act request.
But The Post has learned Hajjaj also headed the Taibah International Aid Association, a charity that has been accused of funding Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. The group was co-founded by Abdullah A. bin Laden, Osama bin Laden's nephew, who has been investigated for his ties to groups that have funded al Qaeda and Hamas.
Hajjaj is also director of another Virginia-based nonprofit, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth International, or WAMY. It was also founded by bin Laden's nephew and said to support al Qaeda. The group's 2005 federal tax form, the most recent available, is signed by Hajjaj, who is listed as director.
Steven Emerson, executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, said WAMY has been a financial and ideological supporter of Islamic terrorist organizations. A WAMY publication lists people who have attacked Israelis as "heroes of Palestine" and referred to Jews as "humanity's enemies," according to a 2003 affidavit by a customs special agent.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/queens/rep_helped_jihad_flier_hSquRbF732a7bJB42XKn5L#ixzz10BoPhOFi