Ohio Terror Charity Threatens Legal Action After PJM Exposé
Group admits funding Hamas terror labs, but is angry that Pajamas Media reported it.
January 28, 2009 - 12:00 am
On December 29, aircraft of the Israeli Defense Forces bombed Hamas terror labs located at the Hamas-run Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) that the IDF said were used by IUG faculty members to make explosives for the terrorist group. The following day I reported exclusively here at PJ Media that the bombed terror labs were financed and built by the Dublin, Ohio-based Arab Student Aid International (ASAI). As I noted, ASAI is chaired by Saudi Prince Turki bin Abdul Aziz, half brother to Saudi King Abdullah, who is also the organization’s primary benefactor.
In response to our reporting, the Columbus Dispatch published an article two weeks ago by reporter Dean Narciso quoting ASAI director Ishaq Y. Al-Qutub that they are considering taking legal action against their detractors — namely, PJ Media:
“There has been a serious misunderstanding and misinterpretation of what we do,” he [Al-Qutub] said, adding that they eventually will consider legal action.
Is it likely that ASAI will follow through on their legal threats? Not really.
For one, Al-Qutub confirms virtually every component to our story. He admits that his organization did fund the labs destroyed by the IDF and cites a figure that $425,000 was used to build the IUG facilities. And in my initial reporting I linked to ASAI’s own website, which cites the construction of the IUG labs as one of their group’s “achievements.” And IUG’s website notes Arab Student Aid’s contributions to the school, specifically mentioning the labs named after Prince Turki. Thus, any attempt to deny the substance of our initial story is contradicted by their own stated admissions.
And it would be hard for ASAI and Al-Qutub to claim that IUG has no connection to Hamas, as IUG officials aren’t bashful about their relationship to the terrorist group. In 2006, IUG professor Jameela El Shanty told the Baltimore Sun:
Hamas built this institution. The university presents the philosophy of Hamas. If you want to know what Hamas is, you can know it from the university.
And federal prosecutors last year named IUG as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial, which resulted in convictions on all 108 counts, where IUG was listed among the “individuals/entities who are and/or were part of the Hamas social infrastructure in Israel and the Palestinian territories” (pg. 2, no. 43).