WASHINGTON – In response to charges raised in a WND report on the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference, an Islamic activist on the board of the host organization strenuously denied links to the Muslim Brotherhood and an Islamist influence network operating on Capitol Hill in an e-mail to his fellow ACU directors.
The e-mail from Suhail Khan, a copy of which was obtained by WND, is being rebutted by Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy and Hoover Institution fellow Paul Sperry, co-author of “Muslim Mafia.”
Khan denied that his family mosque in Santa Clara, Calif., hosted al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri during a 1990s fundraising tour, a charge raised by Sperry in a New York Post column last week.
“In the NY Post op-ed,” wrote Khan, “Frank’s [Frank Gaffney] colleague Paul Sperry falsely claims the Islamic center my family attends in Santa Clara hosted/raised money for al-Qaida. … The fact is, no individual connected to al-Qaida was ever hosted by the center in Santa Clara much less was there any connection to my late father.”
However, Sperry told WND, “Khan’s denial that his father’s Santa Clara, Calif., mosque (An-Noor, owned by the Muslim Community Association) never hosted Zawahiri is verifiably false. There are several articles (San Francisco Chronicle, etc.) that reported these visits by Zawahiri, then with Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and they have never been retracted.”
Indeed, according to an Oct. 11, 2001, San Francisco Chronicle report, Zawahiri, al-Qaida’s No. 2 man after Osama bin Laden, visited several California mosques during the 1990s to raise money for terror operations – and a follow-up article identified An-Noor.
“Traveling with a stolen passport supplied by the local terrorists and using a fake name, al-Zawahiri, who has called on Muslims to kill ‘Americans wherever they are,’ visited mosques in Santa Clara, Stockton and Sacramento as part of a coast-to-coast fund-raising mission,” reported the Chronicle shortly after the 9/11 attacks.
Under the pretense of raising money to support victims of the Afghan-Soviet war, Zawahiri raised as much as $500,000 during his U.S. fundraising tour, according to the Chronicle, which reported the money went to Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the organization implicated in “dozens of terrorist attacks” including the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.
At the time of the covert fundraising tour, Zawahiri was the head of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which later merged with al-Qaida.
The Oct. 13, 2001, follow-up Chronicle story specified the Khan family’s mosque as the one Zawahiri visited in Santa Clara:
Santa Clara Islamic leaders didn’t challenge the accuracy of the [Oct. 11] story but said they worried that it could provoke a backlash against a peaceful, law-abiding community.
The officials did not question the report that bin Laden’s chief deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, suspected in a long list of terrorist crimes including the Sept. 11 attacks, came to the area to raise money under an assumed name in the early to mid-1990s.
But they stressed that longtime members of Santa Clara’s An-Noor mosque had no recollection of anyone soliciting money under the guise of funds for refugees of the 1980s Afghan-Soviet war, as The Chronicle reported in a story based on court records, Arab newspaper accounts, and interviews.
“We are not denying or confirming that this thing happened,” said Omar Ahmad, community leader and a member of the Santa Clara mosque. “All we’re saying is, the mosque had nothing to do with it.”
“Check out the mosque ‘spokesman’s’ non-denial denial,” Sperry told WND. “Omar Ahmad – yep, the CAIR founder since named an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator.”
CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which describes itself as “America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group,” was named an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Holy Land Foundation case, the largest terrorist financing trial in U.S. history. (See Holy Land case court exhibits here.)
Poster recently found on CAIR-Calif. website
“CAIR, the U.S. government says, is a front for both Hamas and its parent the Muslim Brotherhood,” Sperry wrote in his New York Post article.
The Muslim Brotherhood, which is also the parent organization to al-Qaida, is an Egyptian-based Islamic revivalist organization fighting to establish Shariah law throughout the world.
“This Khan family mosque,” noted Sperry, “is listed in the Muslim Brotherhood’s own documents as one of ‘our organizations.'”
Sperry’s article links to four videos, collectively called “Suhail Khan Exposed,” showing Khan speaking at Islamic Society of North America conferences and receiving praise and awards from convicted terrorist Abdul Rahman al-Alamoudi, convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al-Arian, and Jamal Barzinji, whom the U.S. government has accused of being “closely associated” with Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Another video provided by Sperry shows Alamoudi expressing support for Hamas and Hezbollah at a Chicago rally, then describing his lengthy relationship with the Khan family.
“Mr. Khan can explain himself to the ACU board all he wants,” Sperry told WND, referring to CPAC’s sponsoring organization, the American Conservative Union, “but he cannot explain away these damning videos. They speak volumes about his true loyalties, and that is why he’s so worried.”
Sperry added: “What’s striking is that even now, with Alamoudi behind bars, Mr. Khan cannot bring himself to call his old patron the terrorist that he is. In his letter of defense to the ACU board, he calls him ‘Mr. Alamoudi’ and ‘gentleman,’ but never terrorist. ‘Gentleman’ is also the term he has used to describe Osama bin Laden’s deputy who visited his father’s mosque in California (this was on the Fred Grandy radio show). Why is it so hard for Mr. Khan to call these terrorists by their proper names – ‘terrorists'”?
Khan sent his statement to the ACU board about three hours after WND e-mailed the board requesting comment on Sperry’s New York Post article.
Khan’s statement consists largely of attacks on Gaffney, a former Reagan administration assistant secretary of defense.
Since the late 1990s, Gaffney has been sounding the alarm about a jihadist “influence operation” penetrating the conservative movement and the Republican Party. Gaffney has placed Khan at the center of the operation.
In his statement to the ACU board, Khan pointed out that he received “full security clearances” while serving as a political appointee in the Bush White House and Department of Transportation.
“The [White House] senior staff regarded Frank as irrational, unhinged and they knew his attacks were baseless,” Khan wrote.
Gaffney declined to comment on Khan’s criticisms, telling WND he preferred to address the ACU board directly.
“Despite concerted efforts by Suhail and his supporters to portray this as a personal matter, that is not the case,” Gaffney wrote to the ACU Friday. “It is a matter of national security, period. I will not respond to ad hominem attacks against me by him or others except to say they have no basis in fact.”
Said Gaffney: “The issue before the ACU today is actually fairly straightforward: Has the conservative movement been subjected to a sustained and successful influence operation by individuals and organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB or Ikhwan)?”
In his e-mail to the ACU, Gaffney focused in part on the videos cited by Sperry, one of which shows Alamoudi speaking with “evident affection” for Khan.
“This statement is important for several reasons,” wrote Gaffney. “It makes plain a longstanding personal connection between not only Alamoudi and the younger Khan, but also between the MB operative and Suhail’s late father. The latter was himself a senior figure in the Muslim Brotherhood who worked for many years with Alamoudi.”
In his statement to the ACU board, Khan also failed to disclose the political activism of his parents, Mahboob Khan and Malika Khan.
“My father (who was a Silicon Valley executive and not an “imam” as Frank often asserts) was devout and had just died (I also referred to my mother, who until her recent retirement, worked as a medical technologist at the Sisters of Mercy O’ Connor Hospital in Santa Clara, California) …” wrote Khan.
Suhail Khan’s mother, Malika Khan, is currently listed as a member of the executive committee of the San Francisco Bay Area branch of CAIR-California.
Suhail Khan’s late father, Mahboob Khan, was among the founders of two organizations allegedly connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. During the 1960s Khan helped found the Muslim Student Association, identified by Gaffney as “the first MB organization in America.” Later he helped create the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA. Like CAIR, ISNA was named an unindicted terror co-conspirator by the Department of Justice in the Holy Land Foundation case.
Two of Sperry’s videos show Khan speaking at ISNA conferences.
“In another address to the ISNA annual convention in September 2001 – shortly before 9/11, Suhail Khan took evident pride in the leadership role his mother had played in a number of Muslim Brotherhood organizations,” wrote Gaffney.
Gaffney went on to quote Khan: “She worked with her husband to establish organizations like the MSA, ISNA, CAIR, American Muslims for Global Peace and Justice.”
“The government now says [ISNA] is a front for the radical Muslim Brotherhood and has raised money for jihad,” Sperry wrote in the Post. “The founding documents of the Brotherhood’s operation in America (recently seized by the FBI) reveal that it is in this country to ‘destroy’ the Constitution and replace it with Islamic law.”
But, wrote Khan to the ACU board, “Sperry’s ludicrous assertion that ISNA ‘is in this country to destroy the Constitution and replace it with Islamic law’ is alarmist nonsense and wholly false.”
In his statement, Gaffney invited the ACU board to read his recent book, “Shariah: The Threat to America,” which reproduces one of the documents captured by the FBI in a raid on the Northern Virginia home of “senior Brother/Hamas operative Ishmael Elbrasse,” currently “an international fugitive.”
According to Gaffney, “the MB’s strategic plan for America” is laid out in the 1991 “Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal”:
” … A kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their [i.e., our] hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
Eight years later, in 1999, Suhail Khan glorified mujihadeen and martyrdom in comments to ISNA:
We are charged by almighty Allah to protect our fellow brothers and sisters and we know of many, so many, here in America and across the globe who are in dire need of protection. … A Muslim is a brother to a Muslim. Neither he harms him nor does he hand him to another for harm. …
Here in the United States, Muslims are often faced with discrimination, harassment and outright hatred. Mosques are burned. Islamic centers are vandalized, desecrated. Mosques and Islamic centers and schools face constant discriminatory zoning decisions. Muslim families are harassed and hindered from travel from at airports as they are profiled as quote unquote terrorists or security risks. …
Our freedoms, my dear brothers and sisters, are under attack. Our freedom to associate with whomsoever we choose, to speak out politically and religiously, to travel, to practice our faith as Allah has instructed us as God-fearing men and women must be protected. And these rights must be defended with all the determination, all the resources, all the unyielding vigilance of the believing mujahid. … This is the mark of the Muslim. The earliest defenders of Islam would defend their more numerous and better equipped oppressors, because the early Muslims loved death, dying for the sake of almighty Allah more than the oppressors of Muslims loved life. This must be the case where we—when we are fighting life’s other battles. …
[W]hat are our oppressors going to do with people like us? We’re prepared to give our lives for the cause of Islam.
“Why in the world,” asks Sperry, “would a supposedly ‘moderate’ Muslim-American encourage fellow Muslims to martyr themselves as shaheeds ‘for the cause of Islam’? Why would Mr. Khan, a supposedly ‘staunch Republican,’ romanticize the death culture of jihadists? Why would any nonviolent, peace-loving Muslim glorify the kind of violence and bloodlust advocated by Osama bin Laden, who similarly boasts that ‘Muslims love death’ more than infidels ‘love life’? These videos raise extremely disturbing questions for members of the GOP establishment who have promoted Mr. Khan to positions of power.”