SARASOTA HERALD TRIBUNE: –Father’s quest for justice uncovers international money-laundering scheme. A New Jersey title attorney who exposed illegal money laundering operations by some of Europe’s biggest banks while attempting to punish Iran for the death of his daughter will lay out the entire byzantine odyssey Tuesday evening at Temple Emanu-El in Sarasota. Stephen Flatow initially made headlines in 1995 when he turned his greatest tragedy — the loss of 20-year-old daughter Alisa to a suicide bomber in Israel — into a cultural pivot point for Jews harboring religious reservations about organ donation. But it was what happened afterwards that sounds almost too implausible for even a Hollywood treatment, read more at http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20160207/ARTICLE/160209671/2416/NEWS?Title=Father-s-quest-for-justice-uncovers-international-money-laundering-scheme&tc=ar
Alisa Flatow was murdered by Palestinian Islamic Jihad Terrorists. Alisa Flatow was killed April 9, 1995, when a suicide bomber associated with PIJ detonated a bomb beside a bus in the Gaza Strip. The Kfar Darom bus attack was a 1995 suicide attack on an Israeli bus carrying civilians and soldiers to Kfar Darom, an Israeli settlement in the Gaza Strip. The attack killed seven Israeli soldiers and one American civilian, Alisa Flatow. A United States Federal district judge ruled that the Iranian Government had provided financial aid to the group that carried out the attack and were therefore responsible for the murder of the U.S. citizen. The court ordered the Government of Iran to pay Alisa Flatow’s family $247.5 million in damages.
Terror Indictments Sami Al-Arian raised money for terrorists, feds say: Sami Al-Arian, who often signed his faxes “The Secretary,” said in one conversation that he could arrange for the distribution of money in the occupied territories of Israel, the indictment states. He also discussed the whereabouts of $2-million in missing money, the indictment states. During one conversation about finances, according to the indictment, Al-Arian became upset and said not to use names and numbers. Another time, co-defendant Ramadan Abdulah Shallah said he was concerned that someone had wiretapped his fax machine. Al-Arian wired money from U.S. accounts that eventually ended up in the hands of the families of “martyrs” who had carried out terrorist attacks, the indictment alleges. PIJ members contacted him after attacks and discussed how to raise funds, the indictment says. In one such conversation, according to the government, Al-Arian discussed with another defendant how a “boy” from the PIJ had carried out a bus attack while Hamas, another terrorist organization, provided the car and the bomb. Al-Arian and the others “did secretly establish cells or sections of the PIJ in different countries, and in the United States utilized the structure, facilities and academic environment of USF to conceal the activities,” according to the indictment.
In a compelling sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge James Moody sentenced former University of South Florida Professor Sami Al-Arian to 57 months in jail, the maximum allowed under Al-Arian’s guilty plea for “conspiracy to make or receive contributions of funds, goods or services to or for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a Specially Designated Terrorist.” Al-Arian will get credit for time served (he has been imprisoned for 38 months already), and will finish out the last year and a half of his sentence at the FCI Coleman Federal Penitentiary north of Tampa, before being deported. Speaking to Al-Arian at the hearing, the Judge Moody said, “You are a master manipulator. The evidence is clear in this case. you were a leader of the PIJ.” Commenting on Al-Arian’s level of compliance with PIJ terrorism, Moody continued, “[y]ou lifted not one finger. To the contrary, you laughed when you heard of the bombings.” Sentiments close observers of the investigation and trial have known for quite some time. Further, Moody knocked down the defense’s position that Al-Arian was merely working on behalf of pro-Palestinian charities, telling Al-Arian: “[y]our only connection to widows and orphans was that you create them,” and blasted Al-Arian’s repeated abuses of American hospitality, stating: “[y]our children attend the finest universities in this county, while you raise money to blow up the children of others.”
In a stirring letter to Judge Moody, Stephen Flatow, father of Alisa Flatow, an American victim of PIJ terrorism, requested the maximum possible sentence for Al-Arian, writing:
I am writing to urge you to impose the most severe sentence possible when you sentence Sami Al-Arian on May 1, 2006. I am the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered by PIJ in an April 9, 1995, terror attack. No one has ever said that Sami Al-Arian was in Gaza the day the bomb went off. And we have never accused Sami Al-Arian of recruiting the suicide bomber, of driving the truck or pushing the plunger on the bomb that killed Alisa that Sunday morning. However, by pleading guilty “to mak[ing] or receiv[ing] contributions of funds, goods or services to or for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” I believe Mr. Al-Arian at long last admits his role in providing the material means to kill Alisa and seven others that morning and is just as culpable as the actual bomber in her death. I could tell you much about Alisa and my family’s experiences since her death. My words are necessarily inadequate to describe our loss because you cannot see something buried deep inside us, our broken hearts. For the first seven years after Alisa’s death, you could not mention her name to her mother because the mere mention of her name would bring tears to her mother’s eyes. As for me, when a cold wind blows, I often catch myself looking down at my chest to see if the hole I feel is there.
Alisa’s murder at the hands of cowards and faceless mandarins shocked us, her extended family, friends and people we do not personally know. On that Sunday, in one instant, Alisa went from being a vibrant young lady, proud of who and what she was, into a mortally wounded casualty, her brain shredded by shrapnel. When I saw her at the hospital the next morning, her eyes were the same beautiful brown they were when she was 2 years old, but that morning they stared into space. There was no recognition of my face; Alisa saw nothing. The spiritual leader of our family and good friend was gone at the age of 20 years. The oldest child, the oldest sister, is now and will forever be the youngest member of our family.
After donating her organs for transplant into six very sick people, we brought her back home to New Jersey for burial; 2,000 people attended her funeral, the majority of whom had never met Alisa. But they came because they sensed that something evil had happened and that the only way to fight evil is to stare it in its face and say, “You are not going to get me.” Alisa was not politically active. What attracted her to Israel in 1995 was the same thing that attracted her five times previously – it was her belief that the best place to learn about yourself and your religion is to visit and live in the land where it is practiced around the clock, where the policemen, the bus drivers and the merchants share a heritage with you. There was also something intangible. Every time that Alisa returned from one of her trips to Israel, she came back not just a better Jew, but a better person too.
We will never be able to understand what drives people to enable others to commit terrorist acts. We cannot understand why or how God allowed people like Sami Al-Arian and his cohorts to carry out their plans. The only way I can combat their wickedness is to try to make myself a better person each day. I try each day to let the people who provide resources to terrorists such as PIJ know that you will not intimidate us, you will not scare us, and you will not stop us from living our lives as fully as possible. If I had the ability to make this statement in open court, I would want Mr. Al-Arian to know that, unlike him, we are not going to use code words on the telephone and in our communications; we are not going to slink around as he did, advocating murder and mayhem and praising death under the guise of free speech. I want him to know we are going to fight him and his ilk in the open – in the courthouse, in the Congress, and in the courtroom of public opinion, and we are going to win. I want Mr. Al-Arian to know that we are going to continue to fight for the right to live safely in our communities and to travel safely to all corners of the world. We are not going to stand by idly while terror’s supporters sitting cozily here in the United States send young men and women to their deaths in the name of God. I once again urge you to impose the harshest sentence possible on Mr. Al-Arian. Thank you for your consideration.
Very truly yours,
Stephen M. Flatow
Ramadan Abdullah Shallah was a PIJ terrorist leader before he came to Tampa in 1990 to work with Sami al-Arian. Dr. Ramadan Abdullah Shallah is the current head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group. The Megiddo junction bus bombing PIJ terrorist attack west of Afula on June 5, 2002: Egged bus No. 830 traveling from Tel-Aviv to Tiberias was blown up by a car bomb driven by PIJ terrorist Hamza Arif Hussein Samudi a 16 year old boy, who positioned himself close to the bus’ gas tank and exploded his car, killing 17 and wounding 50.
(237) On or about June 5, 2002, co-conspirators associated with the PIJ (Sami al-Arain et all) murdered seventeen people and wounded approximately forty-five in a suicide car bombing of a bus in the vicinity of Megiddo Junction near Afula, Israel.
(238) On or about June 5, 2002, GHASSAN ZAYED BALLUT, who was outside the State of Florida, had a telephone conversation with HATIM NAJI FARIZ, who was in the Middle District of Florida. GHASSAN ZAYED BALLUT asked HATIM NAJI FARIZ if he had heard about the suicide bombing that day near Haifa. GHASSAN ZAYED BALLUT said the operation was “successful” and that twenty were killed and fifty were injured. GHASSAN ZAYED BALLUT then said it was a PIJ operation. HATIM NAJI FARIZ said he would watch the news that night when he went home.
(239) On or about June 5, 2002, SAMI AMIN AL-ARIAN had a telephone conversation with HATIM NAJI FARIZ and SAMI AMIN AL-ARIAN asked HATIM NAJI FARIZ for the telephone number of another individual. After HATIM NAJI FARIZ gave SAMI AMIN AL-ARIAN the number, he asked SAMI AMIN AL-ARIAN if he had heard the news about
the suicide bombing. SAMI AMIN AL-ARIAN said he had and sarcastically said that HATIM NAJI FARIZ seemed upset or sad about it. HATIM NAJI FARIZ laughed and repeated the story of how he had heard about it earlier from GHASSAN ZAYED BALLUT.
On June 5, 2002, PIJ operative Sameeh Hammoudeh was calling Abdul Dabus at 10:42am EST on phone line 813-987-9282 in Tampa Fl. Phone line 813-987-9282 was the phone number for the Islamic Academy of Florida (now American Youth Academy) run by Sami al-Arian, Sameeh
Hammoudeh and Ramadan Abdullah Shallah.