Washington, DC (PRWEB) September 18, 2006 –
Jean-Charles Brisard of The Terror Finance Blog (http://terrorfinance.org) has exposed new evidence that Tariq Ramadan has links to terrorist entities and has endorsed terror activities in his writings and statements. Some of Ramadan’s associates have been convicted of direct involvement in terror plots or have made statements directly in support of al Qaeda-affliated groups engaged in attacks on U.S. targets. This information provides the U.S. sufficient evidence to deny Ramadan a U.S. visa.
Ramadan’s previous visa was revoked in August 2004 by the US government pursuant to a provision of Immigration and Nationality Act amended by the Patriot Act of 2001 that excludes anyone who “has used the alien’s position of prominence within any country to endorse or espouse terrorist activity, or to persuade others to support terrorist activity or a terrorist organization.”
On June 23, 2006, a federal judge gave the U.S. government until September 21 to issue a formal decision on Tariq Ramadan’s pending visa application. The government must either grant a visa or provide a “legitimate and bona fide reason” to exclude him by that date. Media reports indicate that the government will not provide such a reason, and accordingly will permit Ramadan to enter the U.S.
However, the evidence uncovered by Jean-Charles Brisard represents a “legitimate and bona fide reason” for denying Ramadan a visa. Among Brisard’s findings are the following:
Tariq Ramadan had contacts with at least 6 convicted terrorists and terrorist designated entities, including:
1. Ahmed Brahim (sentenced to 10 years in prison in Spain in April 2006 for incitement to terrorism)
2. Djamel Beghal (sentenced to 10 years in prison in France in March 2005 for his participation to a foiled terrorist attack against the US Embassy in Paris)
3. Menad Benchellali (sentenced to 10 years in prison in France in June 2006 for his participation to a foiled chemical attack in Paris)
4. Intelligence documents reflect that Tariq Ramadan coordinated a meeting held in 1991 in Geneva attended by Ayman Al Zawahiri and Omar Abdel Rahman, respectively Al Qaeda leader and planner of the terrorist attack against the World Trade Center in 1993, sentenced to life in the United States
5. An abstract of the (terrorist-designated) Al Taqwa Bank phonebook mentions Ramadan and his brother.
In addition to the above, Tariq Ramadan issued statements or publications in support of terrorism:
1. The website of the Islamic Center of Geneva (of which Tariq Ramadan is still an executive director) released a sermon on Iraq in August 2005 calling “to support our brothers in Fallujah and Southern Iraq against this unjust occupation, in reality the terrorists are the US administration, the Sharon government and the Putin government”. This statement was clearly referring to the only insurgency force stationed at the time in Fallujah, Tanzim Qa’idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (Al Qaeda in Iraq), in opposition to the “true” terrorists.
2. Muhammad Hamidullah, co-founder of the Islamic Center of Geneva, wrote that Jihad, whether it be defensive, punitive or preemptive, is allowed by religion, and that Muslim jihad is acted upon a « spirit of sacrifice to impose the voice of Allah »
3. In his book “Islam in questions” (published in 2002) he refers to suicide bombers as a “sacrifice” that “finds its justification in decades of accumulated suffering and Western passive responsibility”
4. He also refers in this book to Palestinians fighting “military targets”, including non-combatants, to justify their terrorist acts
5. In an article published by the Spanish daily “El Pais” in 1996, while condemning the abuses of the Taliban he refers to this regime as “exemplary.”
Finally, two co-founders of the Islamic Center of Geneva, Said Ramadan (Tariq Ramadan’s father), and Abu al-Hassan Ali al-Nadawi, were founding members of the Muslim World League in 1962, which is a Saudi NGO associated with Al-Qaida operations since 1988, and labelled as a supporter of terrorism by several governments. The U.S. government recently decided to take action against several offices of its subsidiary organization, the IIRO.
Five years after the September 11 attacks on the United States, a decision allowing Tariq Ramadan to enter this country would obviously negatively impact the war on terror and the very principles upon which the American nation decided to confront terrorists and those who support or endorse them.
The original article can be found at: http://www.terrorfinance.org/the_terror_finance_blog/2006/09/tariq_ramadan_n.html.
Brisard is one of six independent experts on terror finance, based in the USA, Britain, France, Israel and Australia, who recently launched a professional blog that examines how terrorist groups worldwide fund their recruitment, training, and operations. The blog's experts have given expert evidence to the US Senate and House of Representatives, and to the European Parliament. The importance of understanding terror financing was proved as recently as mid-August, when British police arrested a group of suspects in a plot to blow up 10 American airliners in mid-air, thanks to analysis of their financial transactions.
For further information, or for media interviews, find contact information at http://terrorfinance.org, or contact the author of the article, Jean-Charles Brisard, or the blog's editor, Ilan Weinglass, at (202) 203-8183.