A Troubling Presence at a Funeral

Patriotic Americans will always cherish their memories of Ronald Reagan’s strong and courageous leadership during the Cold War. However, his funeral at the National Cathedral may uncap different emotions. Among those the Reagan family has invited to the ecumenical service is Mohammad Magid, a D.C.-area Muslim imam with disturbing ties to suspected terrorists.

Magid, who was born and educated in the Sudan, is the Director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS). ADAMS has numerous close affiliations with the main targets of “Operation Green Quest,” “the largest U.S. terror finance investigation anywhere in the world.” In March 2002, federal agents raided ADAMS’s facility in Herndon, Virginia, as part of an investigation into financial support for terrorism. Federal affidavits state that the “Grove Street addresses” (500 and 555 Grove St. in Herndon) housed more than 100 interlocking Muslim organizations, most headed by Jamal Barzinji, and these groups gave material aid to terrorists. Among those raided were several major ADAMS associates, including its chairman. Magid himself was present when federal agents raided the Herndon offices of ADAMS in March 2002.

Soon after the raid, Magid held a public meeting encouraging “community building” among the organizations investigated. Although 100 people showed up at the Sterling, Virginia, public library for the meeting, another 150 members of the overflow crowd met at ADAMS headquarters.

And with whom did Magid wish to build alliances? Among those invited was Kit Gage of the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom, Sami al-Arian’s political front group. Al-Arian is the University of South Florida professor indicted for being Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s North American leader and chief financier. Wahhabi talk-show host Mahdi Bray, political advisor for the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), followed Gage. The Washington Times has described MPAC as “an anti-Semitic organization that has defended infamous terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.”

CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad also addressed the meeting. Awad has a long history of association with extremists, both in this country and in Bosnia. He once worked for senior Hamas political leader Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook’s Islamic Association for Palestine. Awad has removed all doubt about his inclinations, telling a crowd at Barry University in 1994, “I am a supporter of the Hamas movement.” Awad helpfully told the outraged crowd in Sterling: “This is a war against Islam and Muslims. Our administration has the burden of proving otherwise.”

ADAMS’s office is located in Sterling Virginia, but the organization also maintains a “Grove Street Facility” at 500 Grove Street in Herndon. A former Justice Department prosecutor has alleged, in a lawsuit filed in Florida, that funds from this address (and 555 Grove Street, right across the street) were forwarded to Sami al-Arian.

An affidavit stated the “Grove Street” groups – all of which were lead by Jamal Barzinji – were “suspected of providing material support to terrorists, money laundering, and tax evasion through the use of a variety of for-profit companies and ostensible charitable entities under their control, most of which are located at 555 Grove Street, Herndon, Virginia.”

More than 100 organizations (businesses and non-profits) have operated from the two addresses over the years, most tied to the Safa Group, one of Barzinji’s enterprises. The leadership and personnel of ADAMS frequently overlap with the organizations Operation Green Quest targeted.

The chairman of ADAMS is Ahmad Totonji, an Iraqi-born citizen of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a key target of Operation Green Quest. Totonji was also named as a defendant in a $1 trillion lawsuit filed by more than 600 relatives of people who died in the 9/11 attacks. He acted as a co-founder and officer of the Saudi-founded/Saudi-funded (and now defunct) SAAR Trust. Additionally, he served as Vice President of the Safa Group and the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT).

Officials have linked the non-profit IIIT to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. Matthew Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy testified before Congress in August 2002 that IIIT employee Tarik Hamdi had personally provided batteries for Osama bin Laden’s satellite phone, keeping the wandering terrorist mastermind connected to his scattered ground troops. According to an Operation Green Quest affidavit, IIIT had also sponsored Basheer Nafi, “an active directing member of (Palestinian Islamic Jihad) front organizations.” Nafi, who acknowledges a chummy relationship with Sami al-Arian, lectures at London’s Muslim College. For this reason, Operation Green Quest raided the homes of Abdul Hamid Abu-Sulayman, former IIIT president; Jamal Barzinji, Director of IIIT; and Hisham Al-Talib, Director IIIT.

Customs agent David Kane also uncovered a monetary tie between IIIT and terrorism. Kane claims that, during a raid in Tampa, he found letters that prove IIIT sent at least $50,000 to the World Islamic Studies Enterprise (WISE), a front for Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The same affidavit states Ahmad Totonji personally signed an IIIT check in the amount of $10,000 to Sami al-Arian’s Tampa Bay Coalition for Justice and Peace on November 1, 2001. Such fortunes are chump change for the SAAR Trust, founded by Saudi magnate Suleiman Abdul Al-Aziz al-Rajhi. SAAR received $1.7 billion in donations in 1998 alone.

Totonji’s prolific connections to Wahhabi radicalism do not end there. He was a co-founder of the radical Muslim Students Association, as well as serving as its second president. Totonji also served as a founder and Secretary General of the World Association of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi-supported (and hence, Wahhabi) group federal agents raided in May 25, 2004, resulting in the arrest of Ibrahim Abdullah, the current Vice-President of WAMY-USA. WAMY was among the 100-plus organizations that have operated out of the Grove Street facilities. As Kenneth R. Timmerman noted in a recent exposé, “Until the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the head of the WAMY office in Herndon was Abdullah bin Laden,” Osama bin Laden’s younger brother.

Totonji has also personal ties to Louis Farrakhan. At a February 2000 meeting with Farrakhan, Totonji presented each Nation of Islam imam with a gift set of eight books on Islam and voiced his hope that NOI would bolster Islam within North America. In 1996, Farrakhan traveled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, and Libya, where he denounced the United States alongside Muammar Qaddafi — among other things, accusing President Clinton of conspiring to launch a pre-emptive biological weapons attack against innocent Iraqis. (Farrakhan’s relationship with international terrorist regimes is long and deep. In 1986, Farrakhan attended seminars on weapons and explosives in Libya, and Qaddafi has acted as a frequent financial patron of NOI.)

Nor has Farrakhan been the only black racist beneficiary of Totonji’s generosity. Totonji has made a $1,000 donation to the unsuccessful re-election campaign of Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-GA, as did others connected with the Safa Group. McKinney is best remembered for alleging President Bush had advance knowledge of 9/11; her father famously blamed McKinney’s woes on “Jews. J-E-W-S.” Taha al-Alwani, Hisham Al-Talib, and Jamal Barzinji gave $500 apiece to McKinney.

ADAMS’s woes, however, are far from confined to one man. Brothers Omar and Muhammed Ashraf were also raided. Omar is a member of the ADAMS Project Committee and Executive Vice President of Sterling Management Group, Inc. Muhammed is ADAMS Legal Advisor and also an attorney to Abdurahman Alamoudi, who has been arrested for laundering Libyan money.

Iqbal Unus, Vice President of the Board of Trustees and an ADAMS Laws Committee member, was also Dean of Students at the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences (GSISS) in Leesburg, Virginia. He had his house raided in the same sweep, as did GSISS President Taha al-Alwani and Yaqub Mizra, President of the Sterling Management Group.

GSISS is one of only two schools authorized to train Muslim chaplains for the armed forces. (The other, the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council – which is a subgroup of the American Muslim Foundation and whose best known alumnus is Captain Yousef Yee – is also under investigation. The AMF was founded by none other than Abdurahman Alamoudi.)

ADAMS nurtures relationship with other suspect organizations as well. ADAMS is affiliated with Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a likely conduit for Saudi money that happens to control an estimated 80 percent of U.S. mosques. Terrorism expert Steven Emerson has written that ISNA “publishes a bi-monthly magazine, Islamic Horizons, which often champions militant Islamist doctrine, and it convenes annual conferences where Islamist militants have been given a platform to incite violence and promote hatred.”

In addition to ISNA, the ADAMS website links to such Wahhabi organizations as CAIR, AMC, and the Muslims Students Association.

However this outrageous invitation came about, it must be rescinded forthwith. President Ronald Reagan spent his lifetime fighting America’s totalitarian enemies. He does not deserve to have his funeral sullied by the presence of a man who may be associated with them.

This article originally appeared as the weekend lead on Friday, June 11, 2004, on FrontPage Magazine.