The Flying Imams settled their case against US Airways yesterday. But questions linger. Here are more revelations from the blockbuster Muslim Mafia. “‘Flying imams’ rewarded for ominous airline ‘stunt’? Police detective: ‘Acts of staged controversy could be used to desensitize security personnel,'” by David Kupelian for WorldNetDaily, October 21 (thanks to all who sent this in):
[…] Most Americans remember the Nov. 20, 2006, spectacle of the half-dozen Muslim clerics who were kicked off a US Airways Minneapolis-to-Phoenix flight after engaging in behavior that alarmed both passengers and crew before takeoff. Many on board feared the imams – who prayed loudly in Arabic, refused to sit in their assigned seats, fanned out in the cabin in pairs to occupy the front, middle and rear exit rows, ordered seat-belt extenders they didn’t need, criticized the Iraq war and President Bush, talked about al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden and other disconcerting behaviors – were testing security procedures in a dry run for a future hijacking.
The imams, who insisted they were acting innocently, were booted off the plane, detained for several hours and questioned by airport police, the FBI and Secret Service, and prevented from booking a later flight on US Airways.
As a result, in a high-profile lawsuit championed by CAIR and argued by a CAIR-affiliated attorney, the “flying imams” brought suit against not only US Airways and the airport authority, but even the fearful passengers, or “John Does,” who had simply reported the suspicious activity.
Outraged at the obvious chilling effect the case had on citizens who had been encouraged post-9/11 to be vigilant about security, Congress passed a law to protect citizens from being sued for reporting suspicious behavior to law enforcement. The passengers were subsequently dropped from the case.
But after Judge Ann Montgomery of the U.S. District Court of Minnesota ruled the “John Doe” law didn’t immunize law enforcement officers named in the “flying imam” lawsuit, the case went forward.
Today, both sides announced that an out-of-court settlement involving payment to the imams had been reached, though the amount was undisclosed per mutual agreement.
“The settlement of this case is a clear victory for justice and civil rights over fear and the phenomenon of ‘flying while Muslim’ in the post-9/11 era,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “We thank all those who supported the imams through the lengthy and difficult legal process.”
According to the judge, the imams had been subjected to “extreme fear and humiliation of being falsely identified as dangerous terrorists.”
That’s the story being told by most of the media today. However, as reported in “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America,” by former federal agent P. David Gaubatz and investigative journalist Paul Sperry, there’s another, far more ominous and threatening side to the flying imam story – and CAIR’s involvement with it – that has not been told until now.
According to the hot-selling book, the ringleader of the flying imams, Omar Shahin, was involved in an eerily similar disturbance aboard another airline several years earlier, as was CAIR.
“Rewind to 1999,” says “Muslim Mafia.” “That year, two Muslim college students were removed from an America West flight to Washington from Phoenix after twice attempting to open the cockpit. The FBI later suspected it was a ‘dry run’ for the 9/11 hijackings, according the 9/11 Commission Report.”
“At the time, however, authorities didn’t have enough suspicion to hold the students. And as soon as Hamdan al-Shalawi and Muhammed al-Qudhaieen were released, they filed racial profiling suits against America West, now part of US Airways.”
Representing the two Muslim students was none other than CAIR, which held a news conference condemning “this ugly case of racial profiling” and urging Muslims to boycott America West.
“Muhammed and Hamdan had done absolutely nothing wrong,” CAIR’s Awad insisted. “Their crime was being Arab, speaking Arabic.”
In a bizarre prequel to the flying imam event, the two Muslims aboard the America West flight spoke loudly in Arabic despite being fluent in English, also switched their seats and roamed the plane from the tail section to the cockpit as did the six imams, all the while asking suspicious questions about the plane and its routes.
“‘Flying Imams’ ringleader Omar Shahin is familiar with such shenanigans,” reports “Muslim Mafia.” “Witnesses say he prayed loudly in Arabic before boarding his US Airways flight – which also originated from Phoenix. And once on board, he asked for a seatbelt extender even though he didn’t need one and never used the one provided him. (He and another imam left the extenders on the floor of the plane.) And he roamed the cabin and tried to switch seats with another imam.”
The plot gets thicker.
Shahin also knew both of the students who were kicked off the America West flight, as documented in “Muslim Mafia,” which reports that Shahin ministered to them at his former mosque in Tucson, Arizona, where they had attended college on visas from Saudi Arabia. When they were arrested, Shahin rushed to their defense – along with CAIR.
Incredibly, reveals “Muslim Mafia,” “Shahin has admitted to being a former supporter of Osama bin Laden while running the Saudi-backed Islamic Center of Tucson, which functioned as one of al-Qaida’s main hubs in North America.”
FBI investigators believe bin Laden operated a cell at that same mosque. Hani Hanjour, the Saudi hijacker who piloted the plane that hit the Pentagon, worshipped there along with bin Laden’s one-time personal secretary, according to the 9/11 report. Bin Laden’s former chief of logistics was president of the mosque before Shahin took over.
“These people don’t continue to come back to Arizona because they like the sunshine or they like the state,” said FBI agent Kenneth Williams. “Something was established there, and it’s been there for a long time.”
And the America West pair and their imam were right in the middle of it.
Al-Qudhaieen’s name turned up in Williams’s investigation of Islamic flight school students in the Phoenix area and he later became a material witness in the 9/11 investigation. And as it turns out, his partner Al-Shalawi – far from being an innocent random passenger – had contacts with al-Qaida operatives, according to the 9/11 report, and trained for attacks in Afghanistan. Both were deported back to Saudi Arabia.
Shahin, the spokesman for the six flying imams, is a native of Jordan, and currently leads the North American Imams Federation, or NAIF, a sister organization to CAIR, both controlled by the international Muslim Brotherhood, which federal authorities recognize as the parent organization of both al-Qaida and Hamas. In fact, Shanin was returning from a private NAIF conference in Minneapolis when he was removed from the flight. During the conference he had met with newly elected Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison, who had just spoken the previous night at a CAIR event.
Piecing together the events surrounding the removal by law enforcement of the six imams from US Airways Flight 300, “Muslim Mafia” poses a chilling question: Was the “flying imams” spectacle really an “orchestrated stunt”? Here’s the timeline:
* Sat., Nov. 18 Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (D-MN) speaks via video at annual CAIR fundraising banquet in Washington.
* Sat., Nov. 18 North American Imams Federation (NAIF) holds private conference in Minneapolis organized by imam and NAIF President Omar Shahin, who holds workshop on “Imams and the Media.”
* Sun., Nov. 19, 10 am Ellison speaks to NAIF in Minneapolis about “Imams and Politics.”
* Sun., Nov. 19, 7 pm Ellison meets with Imam Shahin.
* Mon., Nov. 20 Shahin and five other imams from NAIF conference are bounced from US Airways flight for “odd” and “suspicious” behavior and are detained by police at Minneapolis airport.
* Tues., Nov. 21 Shahin returns to US Airways ticket counter with media to claim discrimination.
* Tues., Nov. 21 CAIR, a sister organization to NAIF, calls for federal investigation into incident and other alleged Muslim profiling.
* Wed., Nov. 22 Ellison sends letter to US Airways CEO and Minneapolis airports commission director demanding a meeting to discuss possible “discrimination” and airline and airport policy for removing passengers from flights.
* Mon., Nov. 27 Shahin travels to Washington and organizes with CAIR and congressional officials a protest of US Airways at Reagan Washington National Airport. CAIR attorneys prepare discrimination lawsuit for Shahin against US Airways. (Sources: Police and wire reports; CAIR press releases; NAIF brochure)
Shahin, who has raised funds for the Holy Land Foundation (convicted of terror-financing by the U.S. government) and other charitable fronts for Hamas, was the public face of the flying imams in their fight against US Airways and the passengers who were fearful of them.
CAIR quickly signed legal retainer agreements with Shahin and the other imams, promising them “large compensation,” according to notes taken during one of CAIR’s conference calls….