WASHINGTON – An American citizen who returned to Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein to become minister of electricity has called for support of the terrorist insurgency and claims to have contributed the maximum amount under the law to the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama.
Ayham al-Samurai, a Sunni Muslim and former Iraqi exile who lived in the U.S. for 20 years, held a press conference in Amman, Jordan, yesterday saying he hoped the terrorist insurgents in Iraq “would continue against occupation and avenge the Iraqi people.”
The former Chicagoan added, in remarks carried by Radio Sawa, that he had contributed $2,300 to Obama’s campaign.
Obama’s opponent, Sen. John McCain, has been making much of the support offered the Illinois senator’s campaign by Hamas’ top political adviser, Ahmed Yousuf, in an exclusive interview with WND’s Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein. News that a fellow Chicagoan is both supporting him politically as well as the insurgency in Iraq is not expected to be welcome news in the Obama camp.
However, al-Samurai’s ties to Illinois and Obama don’t stop with the financial contribution.
While serving as minister of electricity, al-Samurai brokered deals with Antoin Rezko, the Syrian-American millionaire who backed Obama politically and personally. Rezko was convicted of fraud in Illinois the day Obama unofficially declared himself the winner of the Democratic nomination.
Al-Samurai was appointed minister during the term of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. After Allawi was booted from office, al-Samurai became a mediator between insurgent groups and Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq.
He was later arrested by Iraqi police in Baghdad on corruption charges but escaped from prison with the help of U.S. private security personnel – leaving Iraq with the help of a forged Chinese passport. He later returned to Chicago where he apparently made his contribution to Obama.
Now he hopes for a return to Iraqi politics as a result of a recently passed amnesty law in the parliament.
He said in Jordan yesterday “the [insurgency] in Iraq is a legitimate resistance, and it is against occupation, and any resistance in the world against occupation is considered legitimate. I hope that [it] continues and avenges the Iraqi people, and I look forward to expanding its political agenda.”
He also said he is still a part of Allawi’s political bloc.
Radio Sawa is a 24-hour Arabic-language radio network that originates in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and Washington and receives support from the U.S. government.