Prominent Muslim Terror Cases With Ties to Sarasota, Tampa, Orlando, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Key West Florida

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

March 10th, 2000: Jihad preaching Muneer Arafat and his al-Qaeda procurement agent roommate Ziyad Sadqua aka Ziyad Khaleel move to Sarasota and Orlando Florida respectively. Jihad preaching Muneer Arafat takes the job of Imam or Holy Man at the  Islamic Society of Sarasota Bradenton Mosque while Ziyad Sadqua aka Ziyad Khaleel sets up websites for Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. From 1998 to early 2000 Ziyad Khaleel lived in Manchester, Missouri, with Muneer Arafat and attended Columbia College in St. Louis. Three months later in June 2000 9/11 hijack pilots Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi and their accomplice Ziad Jarrah show up in the Sarasota Fl area and stay for at least 6 months.

TAMPA TIMES: Sept. 11, 2001: A South Florida man known as Adnan El Shukrijumah was wanted by the FBI as a suspected al-Qaida combatant due to his possible connection with the Sept. 11 hijackers. He also was under indictment for planning a suicide bomb attack in 2009 in the New York City subway system. Family members said El Shukrijumah went to Trinidad in 2001, but formerly studied computer engineering at Broward Community College. He sometimes prayed at Al-Iman mosque in Fort Lauderdale and Darul Uloom in Pembroke Pines. He was reported killed during a raid in northwest Pakistan on Dec. 6, 2014. According to a FDLE report in 2003, Al-Qaeda terrorist El Shukrijumah went to the Islamic Society of Sarasota Bradenton Mosque to play soccer with Abdulaziz al-Hijji where Al-Qaeda linked Muneer Arafat was the Imam.
Sept. 11, 2001: Suicide hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi trained at a flight school in Venice, and their accomplice Ziad Jarrah took lessons a block away from the school. Atta and al-Shehhi who lived in the Sarasota area for at least 6 months were responsible for the jets that flew into the World Trade Center, and Jarrah controlled the plane that crashed in rural Pennsylvania, they were all linked to Abdulaziz al-Hijji in Sarasota Fl. Reports say that at least 14 out of the 19 terrorists responsible for Sept. 11 spent time in South Florida, with at least 12 of them in Palm Beach County.
Sept. 11, 2001: A Saudi family that left their Sarasota home 2 weeks before Sept. 11 had ties to those associated with the terrorist attacks, according to FBI reports. Three of the family members were tied to the Venice flight school where two suicide hijackers from Sept. 11 were trained. The names of the three individuals were blanked out from official documents, but the home in Sarasota was that of Abdulaziz al-Hijji. Al-Qaeda terrorist Adnan El Shukrijumah went to the Islamic Society of Sarasota Bradenton Mosque to play soccer with Abdulaziz al-Hijji where Al-Qaeda linked Muneer Arafat was the Imam.

New York Times: FBI Report Indicates Radical Imams Fahad al-Thumairy, Anwar al-Awlaki, Muneer Arafat and Lower-Ranking Saudi Officials Assisted 9/11 Hijackers in USA. Imam’s Fahad al-Thumairy and Anwar al-Awlaki on the West Coast and Muneer Arafat on the East Coast in Sarasota Fl all appear to have aided the 9/11 hijackers prior to September 11th, 2001. These Imam’s were part of the nationwide support network for the 9/11 hijackers that also included lower-ranking Saudi Officials like Omar al-Bayoumi in San Diego and Esam Ghazzawi and his family in Sarasota Fl. 

The Sarasota Herald Tribune never reported the November 2002 arrest of Imam Muneer Arafat by Federal Agents in Sarasota Fl for overstaying his visa. The Sarasota Herald Tribune never reported that after his November 2002 arrest Muneer Arafat was required to give testimony at a Federal Grand Jury Terrorism Investigation in St Louis concerning links to the 9/11 attacks and information about his former Al-Qaeda procurement agent and roommate Ziyad Sadqua aka Ziyad Khaeel. “One witnesses was Muneer Arafat, who formerly lived in the St Louis area and moved in 2000 to Sarasota, Fla where he was the Imam of a mosque, Arafat is a Kuwaiti of Palestinian descent”. The Sarasota Herald Tribune never reported on the undercover work (wearing a wire) Muneer Arafat did for the FBI in 2002 regarding a group of Sarasota Muslim businessmen and their links to a terrorism support network. 

FDLE REPORT 8th DECEMBER 2003: Sarasota Imam Muner Arafatis a Member of Islamic Brotherhood and Wishes Harm to United States, Per FBI Agent Thomas Baugher. FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT INVESTIGATIVE REPORT MUNEER ARAFAT is a member of the Islamic Brotherhood. Muneer Arafat was a member of the Islamic Brotherhood, Muneer Arafat follows a radical belief and teachings of Saudi Shaikh Al-Baz a leading proponent of the rigid Salafi form of Islam, so did Anwar al-Awlaki, and does ISIS. Muneer Arafat wishes harm to the United States. The Islamic Brotherhood is the Muslim Brotherhood. ‘Salafism’ is a virulent and violent strain of Sunni Islam that gave rise to groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, see

Feb. 20, 2003: Former University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian was indicted, alleged to be a leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and complicit in the murder of civilians. He was arrested in his Tampa home. Years later, Al-Arian ended up taking a plea deal on greatly reduced charges. He was deported to Turkey on Feb. 5, 2015.

Nov. 22, 2005: Former South Florida resident Jose Padilla was indicted on charges of conspiring to commit terrorist acts. He lived in Fort Lauderdale for an unspecified time where he prayed at Al-Iman mosque. He was transferred to Miami’s federal detention facility after the indictment. Before the indictment, Padilla was held as an “enemy combatant” in U.S. Defense Department custody. He was previously arrested in 2002 for allegedly attempting to detonate a “dirty bomb” in the United States.

2007: Ahmed Mohamed and his friend Youssef Megahed, were arrested on terrorism-related charges in South Carolina after police found PVC pipes filled with model rocket propellants in their car trunk. Mohamed was also charged with giving “material support” for terrorism over a YouTube video that instructed how to convert a remote control toy into a bomb. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison after taking a plea deal in 2008. Megahed applied for citizenship two weeks before his arrest. Tampa immigration officials denied his request, but were directed to reconsider his petition March 19, 2012, after he was acquitted of the terrorism-related-charges. It was denied.

Nov. 28, 2007: Rafiq Sabir, a doctor who had lived west of Boca Raton, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being convicted of conspiring to help and treat injured al-Qaida fighters. Al-Qaeda linked Muneer Arafat Was the Imam at the Boca Raton Mosque during this time frame.

May 2009: Five men were convicted in Miami on charges of conspiring to start a war against the United States by planning attacks in places including the Sears Tower and federal buildings in Florida. Narseal Batiste, Patrick Abraham, Stanley Grant Phanor, Burson Augustin and Rothschild Augustine were indicted on a multitude of charges including providing material support to foreign terrorist operatives like al-Qaida, attempting to wage war and planning to destroy with explosives.

July 18, 2013: Shelton Thomas Bell from Jacksonville was charged with conspiring to fight in an overseas holy war. The 19-year-old sought guidance and training from terrorists and was accused of using that training to organize a night “mission” that damaged religious statues near his home in East Arlington. Bell, also accused of making recruitment videos, is serving a 20-year prison sentence.

May 2014: Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, a 22-year-old man from Florida, detonated a truck full of explosives during what was believed to be the first American suicide bombing in Syria. The last address listed for him was in Fort Pierce.

March 2015: Raees Alam Qazi and Sheheryar Alam Qazi, two brothers from Oakland Park, pleaded guilty to planning a terrorist attack in New York City and assaulting two U.S. marshals while they were in custody. In addition, Raees Alam Qazi pleaded guilty to providing “material support” to al-Qaida. The duo was arrested three years earlier in Broward County.

July 28, 2015: Harlem Suarez was charged with attempting to use a backpack bomb on a beach in Key West. Suarez had a Facebook page under the name “Almlak Benitez,” in which he “liked” topics such as “Jihadist” and “Extraordinary Prayer for ISIS.” FBI agents then arranged for a source to communicate with Suarez through texts, cellphone and in person. It was during those conversations that Suarez discussed planning a jihad against the United States.

Nov. 5, 2015: Pinellas Park resident Sami Osmakac was sentenced to 40 years in prison. He was convicted of attempting to use weapons of mass destruction, which included a car bomb, grenades and a suicide vest, along with possession of an unregistered AK-47. Police said Osmakac planned to stage terrorist attacks in Tampa.

April 29, 2016: James Gonzalo Medina of Hollywood was arrested on charges of conspiring to use “a weapon of mass destruction” at a synagogue close to Miami. He was arrested on his way to the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center in South Florida.

June 12, 2016: Omar Mateen entered an Orlando nightclub and killed 49 people, leaving another 53 injured. Mateen was a resident of Port St. Lucie and was killed by law enforcement during the attack. He pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a call to 911 during the shooting.

Compiled from Times wires by staff writer Allison Graves read at


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