Another Al-Arian update: “Sami Al-Arian’s Islamic Academy,” from Laura Mansfield in FrontPage (thanks to EPG):
Florida’s tuition voucher program is designed to help improve the education level of children who attend schools which do not meet educational standards. In 2003, Florida taxpayers indirectly subsidized the Islamic Academy of Florida in Tampa, with over $350,000 in funds.
Why is this a problem? What makes funding an Islamic school any different from funding a Christian school?
The difference is that at the time, the school’s principal was none other than Sami Al Arian, who was under indictment for terrorism-related charges. He is at this very moment going to trial.
The Florida Islamic Academy was founded in 1992 by Sami Al-Arian. North American Islamic Trust holds the the title to the school property, as well as to the Tampa-area mosques at 130th Ave. E in Temple Terrace, FL and at 6307 Barclay Avenue in Spring Hill, FL. The trust owns about 27 percent of the 1,200 mosques in the United States.
The North American Islamic Trust is a subsidiary of the Islamic Society of North America.
Sami Al Arian, along with seven others, was indicted in February 2003, on racketeering charges for allegedly financing and supporting homicide bombers in Israel.
The Florida Islamic Academy is explicitly named in the indictment:
The Islamic Academy of Florida, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as “IAF”) was a tax exempt Florida corporation established on August 24, 1992. SAMI AMIN AL-ARIAN was the Director of IAF from its inception through at least June, 2002. SAMEEH HAMMOUDEH was also employed by the IAF and served as its Treasurer. IAF was located at 5910 East 130th Avenue, Tampa, Florida.
And then later goes on to state:
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Jihad-Shiqaqi Faction (PIJ), including the ICP, WISE, IAF, and others known and unknown, constituted an “enterprise” (hereinafter referred to as the “PIJ Enterprise”), as defined by Title 18, United States Code, Section 1961(4); that is, a group of individuals and entities associated in fact which engaged in, and the activities of which affected, interstate and foreign commerce. The enterprise constituted an ongoing organization whose members functioned as a continuing unit for a common purpose of achieving the objects of the enterprise.
The indictment also alleges:
On or about May 5, 2002, SAMI AMIN AL-ARIAN and SAMEEH HAMMOUDEH caused an employee at IAF to tell an unidentified woman during a telephone conversation that the woman should write a check to IAF after she indicated she wanted to send money for the Palestinians.
Yet, despite this, the Islamic Academy of Florida continued to receive money from the tuition voucher program in Florida through July 2003.