Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., speaking during Oct. 30 Democratic presidential candidate debate in Philadelphia
Presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., has taken thousands of dollars in cash donations from Islamists under federal investigation for terror-financing, money laundering and tax fraud, WND has learned.
The Democrat senator over the past seven months has received $1,000 from M. Yaqub Mirza and another $500 from M. Omar Ashraf, federal campaign records show. Federal agents raided the Virginia homes and offices of the Muslim donors after 9/11 for ties to terrorism.
Others tied to the still-active probe also have contributed money to Clinton, including one Muslim man who after 9/11 complained the U.S. government should focus on changing its Mideast policies instead of killing Osama bin Laden and other Islamic terrorists.
Mirza, who also has given to other candidates, including Republicans, is said to act on behalf of Saudi millionaire Yassin al-Qadi, who the U.S. Treasury Department in October 2001 blacklisted as an al-Qaida financier.
More recently, Wachovia Bank closed the accounts of a shadowy Muslim charity supported by Mirza after an entity controlled by the Pakistani immigrant donated $150,000 to the charitable front, known as FAITH. The bank in 2005 cited suspicious activity in its accounts related to possible money laundering.
M. Yaqub Mirza
Mirza and Ashraf, who have not been charged with a crime in the ongoing probe, control with several other Islamists some 40 Muslim businesses, charities and think tanks known collectively by law enforcement as the Saudi-backed “Safa group.” Their offices are located primarily at 555 Grove St. in Herndon, Va., a suburb of Washington. The Muslim World League, a Saudi-based charity linked to al-Qaida, originally set up its U.S. branch at that address with the help of Mirza.
Mirza in March contributed $1,000 to Clinton, listing his occupation as an officer of the SAAR Foundation. The Saudi-backed entity is listed on the federal affidavit for a search warrant in the original counterterror raid.
Mirza also gave $2,300 to former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore before the Republican left the race for president in July. However, Clinton is the only active presidential candidate who has received funds from Safa suspects in this election cycle.
Ashraf in August gave $500 to Clinton’s campaign, listing his occupation as vice president of Sterling Management Group, another entity listed on the affidavit. His Herndon home also was raided.
In addition, Federal Election Commission records reveal a June payment of $500 to Clinton from Omar Barzinji, who works for a telecommunications firm as well as Amana Limited, a Herndon-based publisher of pro-jihad materials. Its offices, too, were raided after 9/11.
In September 2001, as rescuers were still pulling bodies from the wreckage at Ground Zero, Barzinji chided President Bush for failing to spend more time addressing why the attacks occurred and figuring out what had angered the Muslim hijackers.
Jamal M. Barzinji
“It’s fine and dandy to go out and get the people who did this,” Barzinji told the Washington Post. “You can go out and kill all the bin Ladens. But it won’t change anything unless we change our policies in the Middle East.”
Barzinji is related to Jamal M. Barzinji, whose Herndon home authorities also searched in their counterterror probe. The federal court affidavit alleges Jamal Barzinji “is not only closely associated with PIJ (Palestinian Islamic Jihad), but also with Hamas” – two known terrorist groups outlawed by the U.S.
According to a Sept. 11, 2004, Washington Post article, Jamal Barzinji joined his associates with the Muslim Students Association in 1971 in hosting the top leaders of the Egyptian Brotherhood for two weeks of meetings in Indiana. The Brotherhood leaders had just been released from 16 years in prison.
Jamal Barzanji, the Post reported, said he and his colleagues – who now claim they abandoned links to the Brotherhood years ago – helped persuade the Egyptians to try participating in Egyptian elections as an alternative to underground struggle. Barzanji noted, “It was one of our main contributions to the Ikhwan movement worldwide.”
The Brotherhood – or al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun, as it is known in Arabic – follows the credo: “The Quran is our constitution, the prophet is our guide; Death for the glory of Allah is our greatest ambition.” Bin Laden, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and “blind sheik” Omar Abdel-Rahman all belong to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Two of Jamal Barzinji’s closest business associates – Abdurahman Alamoudi and Soliman Biheiri – are known leaders in the Muslim Brotherhood in America. Both men have been convicted of terror-related charges since 9/11. The Treasury now says Alamoudi was one of al-Qaida’s top fundraisers in America.
Abdurahman Alamoudi, center, with Vice President Al Gore and President Bill Clinton
During her 2000 Senate campaign, Clinton took $1,000 from Alamoudi when he was head of the American Muslim Council. She was forced to return the money when news got out that he voiced support for Palestinian terrorists. (She listed his group as the “American Museum Council” in her donor report to the FEC, an attempt critics say to disguise Alamoudi as a curator rather than a terrorist supporter. As first lady, Hillary had hosted Alamoudi at the White House.)
Investigators say Jamal Barzinji also is close to Sami al-Arian – who pleaded guilty to aiding terrorists – as evidenced by documents seized in Tampa, Fla., reflecting direct correspondence between the two.
The Clinton campaign says it thoroughly vets all its individual donors for ties to terrorism and criminal activity. It’s not clear if Mirza and the other Safa-tied donors simply slipped the net or if the campaign was aware of their backgrounds. Calls to her campaign were not immediately returned.
But another Democrat – Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia – was forced to return $3,950 in cash from Mirza in 2002 after the terror-tainted donations were revealed in the press. That same year he also refunded $3,750 to Jamal Barzinji.
Nancy Luque, a Washington-based lawyer for Jamal Barzinji and other Safa directors under investigation, says her clients do not support terrorism in any way, adding that the government is conducting a witch hunt. Barzinji has not been charged with a crime in the years-long probe.
Earlier this year, Clinton agreed to return some $50,000 in illegal donations from a Pakistani businessman after news broke that the FBI sought him for fraud. The donor, Abdul Rehman Jinnah, recently surrendered to U.S. authorities after fleeing the country. Clinton also has vowed to return $850,000 in dirty cash raised by outlaw Chinese donor Norman Hsu.
During her 2000 Senate campaign, Clinton had to return a $50,000 check from another Muslim leader – Agha Saeed – after it was revealed he backed Palestinian suicide attacks on Israel. She had received a plaque from him at a $500-a-ticket fundraiser sponsored by his group, the American Muslim Alliance.