The Blog

Fort Hood's New Islamist Instructor

7:15 PM, Dec 3, 2009 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Over at the Corner, Andy McCarthy points out that Louay Safi, a top official at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), has been brought into Fort Hood to teach our troops about Islam. There's just one problem. As McCarthy and others have reminded us, ISNA has a variety of disturbing ties to Islamic extremists and terrorists, including the fact that ISNA itself has been identified by federal prosecutors as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Here is one more ISNA tie worth remembering, adapted from a post I wrote in June. (Keep in mind that this same organization has sent an official to teach American servicemen about Islam.)

In a must-read exposé on the financial ties between Saudi Arabia, including members of the royal family, and al Qaeda, the New York Times linked to several supporting documents [in June]. One of these documents is a dossier prepared by German criminal investigators in 2003. The Germans investigated the financial dealings of an organization called the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), which moved hundreds of millions of dollars around in its sponsorship of terrorism.

TWRA was run by senior Bosnian government officials, and sponsored the relocation of hundreds, if not thousands, of jihadists to Bosnia to fight in the 1990s. While carrying out some legitimate humanitarian functions as a cover, TWRA was really a front for global terrorist operations.

And the ISNA was likely one of its donors.

The German criminal investigators' entry on ISNA reads (see this page on the Times's web site):

Islamic Society of North America

Four credit entries by check were identified, whose sender where (sic) all indicated as "Dyewood Center I.S.N.A." In total an amount of USD 102,197.85 was credited. This organization is likely to be the "Islamic Society of North America", headquartered at Plainfield, Indiana, USA.

German criminal investigators concluded that ISNA's six-figure donation to TWRA was split into four transfers between July and October of 1992.

What was TWRA doing at the time? It was funding the terror network that executed the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and orchestrated a follow-on attack against landmarks in the New York metro area.

As Evan Kohlmann explains in his book, Al-Qaida's Jihad in Europe:

During the 1995 trial of conspirators charged with involvement in a terrorist plot to attack landmarks in New York, Clement Rodney Hampton-el, an American Muslim who trained in the Afghan camps run by Al-Qaida, confirmed that he had been smuggling money into the United States obtained from the Third World Relief Agency for the purpose of financing the military training in New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania of Arab-Afghan mujahideen destined for Bosnia. Several graduates of these makeshift camps helped organize and carry out the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

That is just the tip of the iceberg. TWRA had ties to al Qaeda members and supporters the world over. Kohlmann notes that Osama bin Laden was suspected of donating "large sums of money" to TWRA to fund the jihad in Bosnia. Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, whose jihadists executed the World Trade Center bombing and organized the follow-on landmarks plot, was caught on tape talking to TWRA officials. TWRA "volunteered to spread" Rahman's message and sell the Blind Sheikh's "militant videotapes and sermons in mosques throughout Europe," Kohlmann reported.

There's more, of course. But it would take pages to summarize TWRA's international jihadist activities, from transiting terrorists around the globe to arranging for massive arms shipments. In addition to Kohlmann's book, TWRA's violent legacy, including ties to al Qaeda, are spelled out in elaborate detail by John Schindler in his book, Unholy Terror. Schindler was formerly one of the NSA's top analysts on the Balkans. He includes pages of details on TWRA's terrorist activities.

ISNA's $100,000 was just a drop in TWRA's vast bucket. But still: The simple fact of the matter is that ISNA was helping to fund an al Qaeda-affiliated account used to sponsor jihad.

And now ISNA has supplied an instructor to teach our troops about Islam right before they are deployed to Afghanistan - at a U.S. military base that was just the target of a jihadist attack.

As McCarthy asks, "What on earth is this government doing, and will Congress please do something about it?"