The fight for the Republican nomination for Senate in California is getting heated. A recent poll listed at RealClearPolitics has Tom Campbell with an 11-point lead over Carly Fiorina, but that’s all about to change as he is attacked for his associations with radical Muslims and anti-Israel activists.
Campbell is currently on the defensive after it was found out that Sami Al-Arian, a convicted leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group, donated $1,300 to his 2000 Senate campaign. In 2002, Campbell wrote a letter in defense of Al-Arian after he was fired from his job as a professor at the University of South Florida because of the investigation into his ties to terrorism. The two had become friendly because of their common cause in trying to forbid the use of classified intelligence to detain and deport non-citizens without providing the suspects with the evidence against them.
Campbell has defended himself by saying that he did not know of Al-Arian’s illegal activities at the time. He claimed he was expressing his concern that Al-Arian was just being fired for having unpopular views that he always said did not represent the school. The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has responded by documenting what was known about Al-Arian’s activity at the time. This included calling Jews “monkeys and pigs,” supporting jihad, and saying: “Let us damn America. Let us damn Israel.” The IPT concluded, “If he [Campbell] didn’t know it then, it wasn’t because the information wasn’t available. Campbell either never sought it out or simply ignored it.”
Former federal prosecutor John Loftus has located an article in the St. Petersburg Times that shows Campbell also wrote a letter defending Mazen Al-Najjar, Al-Arian’s brother-in-law. We now know that Al-Najjar acted as a fundraiser for terrorists. According to Loftus, he also likely taught Khalid Sheikh Mohammed when he was at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
Another donor for Campbell’s 2000 Senate bid was Abdulrahman Alamoudi of the American Muslim Council. On October 28, 2000, he declared his support for Hamas and Hezbollah. Only a week later, Campbell defended him as a moderate opposed to violence. Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush returned Alamoudi’s donations once his remarks were reported. Campbell did not, perhaps giving higher priority to winning Muslim votes than to principle. Alamoudi was later convicted for his involvement in terrorism.
Leaders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations also supported Campbell. Muthanna Al-Hanooti, the first executive director of CAIR’s Michigan branch, donated $2,000. Two years later, he was on the payroll of Saddam Hussein’s intelligence service to try to get sanctions on Iraq lifted.