Largest U.S. Muslim Group Features Terror in Flagship Publication
Another full-page ad in the issue featured the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). In March 2002, IIIT had its Virginia offices raided by the FBI in a probe that targeted over a dozen businesses accused of financing terrorism. One of the groups IIIT was said to have financed was the World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE), a now-defunct Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) front run by PIJ leader Sami al-Arian. The raids led to the convictions of two individuals.
The final page of the January/February issue of Islamic Horizons featured the Michigan-based Mercy-USA for Aid and Development, a group that has had a number of terror-related individuals serve as board members. The list includes convicted terrorist Abdurahman Alamoudi, and an “unindicted co-conspirator” of both the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and September 11 attacks, Mohammed al-Hanooti. Mercy-USA is also the U.S. office of Mercy International, a charity implicated in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania -- this East African al-Qaeda operation first brought Osama bin Laden to the attention of the American public.
In the December 1996 newsletter of Mercy-USA, President Umar al-Qadi stated: “During 1995, Mercy opened new offices in the Los Angeles area and in Kenya.” At the 2001 trial of USA v. Usama Bin Laden, federal prosecutors stated that Mercy International served as a front to aid the embassy attackers. According to testimony, Mercy’s Kenya branch worked closely with al-Qaeda, issuing identity cards to bin Laden and his colleagues.
The amount of advertising either given or sold to entities associated with terrorism by Islamic Horizons, and the level of coverage individuals related to these groups receive from the publication, is troubling to say the least. The truth is that a number of American Muslim organizations are considered “mainstream,” yet are supportive of terror.