JERUSALEM – Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan once reportedly aided embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in supporting a U.S.-based terrorist group whose leadership was convicted of plotting deadly domestic attacks.
Farrakhan has maintained a long friendship with Gadhafi. The Libyan leader once provided the Nation of Islam a $5 million interest-free loan and reportedly offered to fund Farrakhan’s group to the tune of $1 billion.
Obama himself has been tied to Gadhafi-supporter Farrakahn both directly and via Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the president’s spiritual adviser for more than 23 years, who once visited the Libyan leader.
Obama’s longtime Chicago church, Trinity United, is closely associated with Farrakhan
A much forgotten footnote in Farrakhan’s extensive relationship with Gadhafi centers around El Rukn, a Chicago black Muslim gang from the 1970s and 1980s convicted of agreeing to commit terrorist acts in the U.S. in exchange for $2.5 million from the Libyan leader.
Lance Williams, a former gang member, reportedly testified that he was present when Farrakhan introduced Islamic convert Jeff Fort, El Rukn’s leader, to Gadhafi.
“Louis Farrakhan was the person who introduced Jeff Fort to the people in Libya,” testified Williams, according to reports. “I happened to be [present] … when Farrakhan had Gadhafi speak via satellite and brought some of the El Rukns up on the stage and said these are my ‘angels of death.'”
Williams was referring to Farrakhan’s 1985 Saviour’s Day convention in Chicago at which El Rukn members were guests of honor.
Farrakhan’s event featured a live satellite broadcast from Gadhafi that saw the Libyan leader urge blacks serving in the U.S. military to desert and join his forces.
Later, Gadhafi would hail the Nation of Islam as helping him infiltrate the U.S. to attack the country from the inside.
Fort, founder of El Rukn, was the leader of another gang, Black P. Stone Nation, which engaged in the drug trade and committed robberies and extortion. Fort converted to Islam in prison in the mid-1970s. He was released for a time in 1976 before being convicted again in 1987 for conspiring to carry out domestic terrorism for Gadhafi.
Fort reportedly formed El Rukn, which is Arabic for “pillar,” from inside prison.
In telephone conversations tapped by the U.S. government, Fort reportedly discussed destroying a federal building, blowing up an airplane, killing a Milwaukee alderman, and committing a “killing here and there”
Fort also reportedly instructed his gang members to purchase a hand-held rocket launcher.
According to a 1987 Time magazine profile of Fort, the U.S. government built its case against the gang leader and other El Rukn members on more than 100 wiretapped telephone conversations, many from the early 1980s, in which El Rukn leaders used a complicated code to discuss terrorist schemes.
“The young friend” was reportedly a code name for Gadhafi, while “the old man” meant Iran’s revolutionary Islamic leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
El Rukn never collected from Gadhafi or carried out any of its plots.
An FBI raid of the gang’s headquarters did find an arsenal that included an anti-tank device capable of downing an airplane.
Interestingly, in 1986, when Farrakhan was orienting himself with El Rukn, a man named John Allen Muhammad joined the Nation of Islam.
Muhammad, who would provide security for Farrakhan’s 1995 “Million Man March,” became infamous in 2002 when he was arrested and charged with carrying out the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks, killing at least 10 people.
Farrakhan, meanwhile, continued an extensive relationship with Gadhafi.
In October 1995, Gadhafi reportedly called Farrakhan with congratulations on the success of the Million Man March. Gadhafi was said to have assured Farrakhan that together “we will unite our capabilities and efforts to achieve this.”
According to reports in 1996 from Libya’s news agency, JANA, Farrakhan and Gadhafi agreed to work together to mobilize “oppressed blacks, Arabs, Muslims and Red Indians” to help reshape U.S. foreign policy.
Gadhafi said that until his alliance with the Nation of Islam, “our confrontation with America was like a fight against a fortress from outside.”
He asserted his alliance with Farrakhan provides him with “a breach to enter into this fortress and confront it.”
Farrakhan went to Libya for multiple events. He was the recipient in 1996 of the Gadhafi Human Rights Award, which came with a $250,000 prize. Farrakhan accepted the prize despite U.S. sanctions on Libya.
Later that year, Gadhafi offered to bankroll Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam for $1 billion.
The Nation of Islam sought official permission to collect the billion, which required a waiver of strict U.S. sanctions against Libya. The permission was denied. It was never clear whether Gadhafi really would have transferred that kind of money to Farrakhan.
Obama’s mysterious links to Gadhafi uncovered
As WND reported, Obama has a number of close ties to activists who have had relationships with Gadhafi.
Obama was elected to the Illinois state Senate in 1996, serving the 13th district, which then spanned Chicago’s South Side neighborhoods, including areas in which Farrakhan was considered to be highly influential.
Wright, former pastor of Obama’s longtime Chicago church, went with Farrakhan to visit Gadhafi in 1984.
Wright and Obama reportedly attended the Million Man March on Washington, which was led by Farrakhan and other prominent black leaders such as Al Sharpton.
Rev. Willie Barrow, a member of the Obama campaign’s official Faith Outreach Team and an Obama superdelegate, is a close friend of Farrakhan’s and a staunch Nation of Islam supporter.
Farrakhan stated in a 2002 interview he met with Barrow to devise his Nation of Islam platforms.
Marxist activist Cornel West, an adviser to Farrakhan, also had been an adviser to Obama’s 2008 campaign and is a close Obama associate and personal friend.
During the period of Obama’s attendance at Wright’s Trinity United Church, which practices controversial Black Liberation Theology ideology, the Chicago church was openly allied with Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.
Wright gave Farrakhan his 2007 Empowerment Award. Farrakhan delivered guest lectures at the church.
Wright, who has been involved in Farrakhan initiatives, labeled him “one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st century” during a national address to the media in April at which Nation of Islam officials were invited guests.
Obama has appeared at least three times on the cover of Trumpet magazine, founded by Wright. The magazine, to which Obama last year granted a lengthy, exclusive interview, regularly hails Farrakhan.
Obama’s face was featured on the cover of a 2006 issue of Trumpet alongside Farrakhan’s image.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, a 2004 photo emerged of Obama’s wife, Michelle, posing with Farrakhan and Obama adviser Barrow at a woman’s luncheon for the Rainbow/Push Coalition for which Barrow serves as chairman emeritus.
In the picture with Michelle Obama is Khadijah Farrakhan, Louis Farrakhan’s wife.
Another Obama connection to supporters of Farrakhan comes from David Axelrod, Obama’s chief political strategist.
Although he is Jewish, Axelrod sits on the finance committee of St. Sabina, the Chicago Catholic parish that was led by controversial pastor Michael Pfleger, an outspoken Farrakhan supporter who hosted the Nation of Islam chief at his parish several times.
The Archdiocese of Chicago temporarily removed Pfleger from his duties at St. Sabina in 2008 following a well-publicized guest sermon at Trinity church in which he claimed Hillary Clinton cried in public because she thought being white entitled her to the Democratic presidential nomination.
Pfleger hosted Farrakhan at his church several times, including one May 2007 sermon that was Farrakhan’s first public appearance since he announced in 2006 he had been suffering from prostate cancer and was seriously ill.
According to reports, Pfleger spent hours with the Nation of Islam chief during his illness. Pfleger previously enlisted Farrakhan’s support for several of his initiatives, including an anti-gun protest in 2007.
With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott