"New Questions for the ISB," a Commentary by Jeff Jacoby

April 25, 2007

Author: Jeff Jacoby

Source: The Boston Globe


THE DATE was Oct. 28, 2000. The place: Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C. At a demonstration against US policy in the Middle East, Abdurahman Alamoudi took the microphone.

"Anybody supports Hamas here?" he yelled to the cheering crowd. "Hear that, Bill Clinton? We are all supporters of Hamas. Allahu Akbar! . . . I am also a supporter of Hezbollah!"

At the time, Alamoudi was a Washington fixture . He had attended White House meetings with Bill and Hillary Clinton, organized the first congressional end-of-Ramadan dinner, and lectured abroad for the State Department. He had founded the Islamic Society of Boston in 1982, and in 1990 helped launch the American Muslim Council and became its chief fundraiser. Three days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he would join George W. Bush at a prayer service dedicated to the victims.

But as his open declaration of support for terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah suggested, Alamoudi was not exactly a poster child for tolerant civic-mindedness. In 1996, he told a Muslim convention in Chicago, "I think if we are outside this country, we can say, 'O, Allah, destroy America,"' and three months after his Lafayette Park appearance, he was in Beirut for a terrorist summit with representatives of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda. In 2004, Alamoudi pleaded guilty to terrorism-related crimes, and admitted plotting with Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy to assassinate the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. According to the US Treasury Department, "Alamoudi had a close relationship with Al Qaeda," and raised $1 million for it in 2003. He is currently serving a 23-year sentence in federal prison.