Blue Suede Jihad: Major Hamas Fundraiser Welcomed in the Land of Elvis
Notorious Hamas fundraiser Mohammed al-Hanooti is set to appear from July 13 through 15 at Masjid Al-Noor, a mosque near the University of Memphis operated by the Islamic Association of Greater Memphis. It is also the home of the university’s Muslim Student Association.
Mohammed al-Hanooti has been identified by federal prosecutors and top counterterrorism officials as a enthusiastic supporter of Hamas -- serving as one of its top fundraisers -- and also as an active supporter of terrorism and extremist Islamic ideology for several decades. He also holds the rare distinction of not only being named by prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terror finance case in American history, but also of being listed as a conspirator in the trial of the “blind sheik” Omar Abdel Rahman for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and planned follow-up attack on New York City landmarks. FBI agents have also testified that al-Hanooti was a participant in an infamous 1993 meeting in Philadelphia of senior Hamas leaders in the U.S.
Al-Hanooti’s terror ties go back to the 1980s, when he served for two years as the first president of the Islamic Association for Palestine, an organization founded by Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook. The group was found liable for $156 million in a civil trial brought by a Chicago couple whose son was murdered by Hamas while waiting for a bus in Israel. In the judge’s order in that case, he cited “strong evidence that IAP was supporting Hamas, consistent with the FBI's surveillance reports.”
Evidence submitted by the government in the Holy Land Foundation trial also implicates al-Hanooti’s role in the top leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestine Committee, formed specifically to provide support for Hamas. A 1988 list of U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leaders shows al-Hanooti as serving on the group’s sharia court. He also appears on a 1993 list of U.S. and international Palestine Committee members. Other documents entered as evidence include a 1991 study on Hamas featuring a forward by al-Hanooti, and a 1995 FBI wiretap transcript of al-Hanooti talking with one of the Holy Land trial defendants about how to raise money for the legal defense of Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook, then facing trial in New York.
A November 2001 memorandum on the Holy Land Foundation’s financial support for Hamas, prepared by FBI counterterrorism assistant director Dale Watson, details information provided by two separate informants that al-Hanooti “was a big supporter of Hamas” who held fundraisers for the terror group, and that “al-Hanooti collected over six million U.S. dollars for support of Hamas.”