by Fred Taub Arutz Sheva January 27, 2007
Imam Fawaz Damra, who the FBI calls a threat to US national security, was deported from the US to Palestinian Authority controlled areas in Judea and Samaria, a.k.a. the West Bank, via Jordan. While crossing into Israel, Damra was detained by the IDF, questioned, and then released by Israeli courts claiming there is not enough evidence to detain him further.
The fact is that Damra is a very dangerous man, the FBI calls a threat to US national security. Considering that Damra is more of a threat to Israel than he ever was to the US, and that Damra will be in position to take a direct role in leading terrorist attacks on Israel, the decision to allow Damra to roam free will surely be remembered as a low point in Israeli history.
Damra was found guilty in the US of lying about his past on his US immigration form, hiding his links to terrorist organizations and persecuting Jews. The case centered on video taped sermons in which Damra openly called for Jihad against the â€œsons of monkeys and pigs, the Jews.â€ These tapes were sent across the US to incite violence and raise money for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Other charges and allegations against Damra include a link to Osama Bin Laden, a counterfeiting operation at mosque he led in Brooklyn, working with Sami al-Arian to raise money for Palestinian Islamic Jihad, money laundering, funding families of suicide bombers, and obstructing an FBI investigation,
Damra also associated with both El Sayyid Nosair, who murdered Rabbi Meir Kahane and was involved with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, as well as with the “Blind Sheik” Omar Abdel-Rahman.
While all this was going on, Damra was meeting with local Jewish community leaders, charming them with rhetoric of peace and then simultaneously calling for their deaths in his Arabic sermons.
Thus, Israel has granted the terrorists a new ideological leader, one with instant credibility specifically because he was deported from the US and held for questioning by the IDF.
Damra will easily gather an instant following in PA controlled areas, and will be able to raise large sums of money to support terror via his network of worldwide supporters. Damra will also be able to make and distribute as many video tapes as he wants with impunity.
Whatever knowledge and experience Damra has in counterfeiting from his Brooklyn mosque days is an additional threat to Israel. The FBI showed Damra printed currency inside his own mosque, but the details appear classified by the US. As such, we do not know exactly what Damra knows about counterfeiting, but considering the PAâ€™s financial situation, and their desire to destroy Israelâ€™s economy, such skills and knowledge are likely be appreciated by the Abbas and PA.
On the international stage, while the PAâ€™s welcoming of Damra is not a violation of the Oslo accords, it is likely Damra will become a catalyst for incitement to violence, which is a violation of Oslo. Additionally, Damra may have aspirations of surpassing the fame of his old friend Osama Bin Laden, if not his deeds.
Israel, however, has done more than just free an emerging terror leader. By allowing the PA to grant asylum to Damra following his deportation, Israel has de-facto granted the PA the ability to take part in international sovereignty and border treatiesâ€”rights that only sovereign nations have.
Thus, Israel has once again granted more authority to the PA than it has to itself with limited home-rule authority of Jewish cities in Judea and Samaria.
Israel failed to deny a border crossing privilege to a known threat, allowing Damra to freely roam where he poses an obvious threat to international peace and stability. So far, the only thing Israel has not done to welcome Damra is send him a dozen roses. The best we can hope for now is that Israel keeps a close eye on Damra, to say the least.
Fred Taub is a boycott consultant and is the President of Boycott Watch (www.boycottwatch.org) which monitors and reports about consumer boycotts, and Divestment Watch (www.divestmentwatch.com) which exposed the illegal nature of the divest-from-Israel campaign as well as why divestment is bad for the US and is anti-peace.