Families & Victims

  • Christie’s Conspiracy. The real story behind the Fort Dix Five terror plot

    Source: The Intercept. Dritan, Shain and Eljvir Duka were arrested in the spring of 2007, but not brought to court until the fall of 2008. In the interim, the brothers were held in pretrial solitary confinement at the Philadelphia Federal Detention Center. On December 22, 2008, after six days of deliberation, the jury found the Duka brothers and their two friends guilty of conspiracy to kill members of the U.S. military at Fort Dix. Years later, the Duka brothers still look back with incredulity at the events that led to their present situation. The needy friends exposed as government informants, the high-profile arrests and terrorism charges, and finally the life sentences that permanently altered the course of their lives. “We had plans for the future, we were expanding our business just weeks before, our families were growing,” Shain says. “Now, suddenly, we have been buried alive.”

     
  • How our war on terror continues to crush families and destroy charities

    Source: Alternet. The Elashis lived the American dream for decades before they became targets of the war on terror. At the center of it all was the US government’s post-9/11 fixation on perceived Muslim enemies anywhere from Iraq to Dallas. The search for Al Qaeda and its financiers was one obsession. The long-held wish by the US and Israel to destroy Hamas, the Gaza resistance movement designated as a foreign terrorist organization in January 1995, got a new impetus in this political climate. Muslim charities were easy targets. The prosperous Elashi brothers, who had a cousin married to a prominent Hamas leader, were in the US government’s crosshairs. In 2008, the five Holy Land Foundation directors, including one member of the Elashi family, Ghassan, were convicted on charges of material support for terrorism. Ghassan Elashi, the chairman, and HLF chief executive, Shukri Abu Baker, received 65-year sentences. Nancy Hollander (counsel for Abu Baker) said after the sentence, “I was horrified by it, the thought that somebody gets 65 years for providing charity is really shameful and I believe this case will go down in history, as have others…as a shameful day. Essentially these people were convicted because they were Palestinians.”

     
  • How the “war on terror” ripped an Atlanta family apart

    Families & Victims March 25, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Atlanta Muslim. “My brother, Ehsanul Shifa Sadequee, who spoke out against the U.S. violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, translated literature, and worked on a publication website, was sentenced to seventeen years in a Communication Management Unit. My mother wonders how her precious son can be so far away from her, separated from her by barbed wire fences and iron walls for joining no terrorist organization, for plotting and committing no terrorist acts. He is her little son put behind bars––for what reason?”

     
  • America abandoned one of its own in Yemen — and now he may die

    Families & Victims March 2, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. As more and more of Yemen is taken over by the country’s Houthi Shiite minority, combat has apparently begun to encroach on Sharif Mobley, an American being held under mysterious circumstances in Yemen. Mobley can hear fighting between Houthi militias and Hadi’s forces from within the facility in which he is detained, according to his partner, Nzinga Islam, who lives in New Jersey. His psychological condition and his treatment by those holding him have both declined since the start of the year, she said. Mobley, who has been held in Yemen since 2010, fears he might be killed as the fighting intensifies.

     
  • Dr. Sami Al-Arian leaves the United States

    Source: Jonathan Turley. Dr. Sami Al-Arian Leaves The United States
    In the conclusion of ten years of intense litigation, Dr. Sami Al-Arian and his wife Nahla boarded a plane last night and left the United States for Turkey. He arrived in Istanbul a couple hours ago. I was Dr. Al-Arian’s lead criminal defense counsel in Virginia until all charges were eventually dropped by the United States Department of Justice against him Dr. Al-Arian’s case raised troubling due process, academic freedom, and free speech issues.

     
  • Low-Hanging Fruit

    Source: London Review of Books. Francis FitzGibbon on the show trial of the Holy Land Foundation.
    Zakat, the Quranic obligation on Muslims to give alms for the relief of poverty, is one of the five pillars of Islam. The Holy Land Foundation (HLF), founded in 1988 by American citizens of Palestinian heritage, raised money for distribution by zakat charitable committees in Gaza and the West Bank. Most of it went to buy food, clothes and education for children. Between 1992 and 2001 the foundation raised at least $56 million. On 3 December 2001 the US Treasury Department decreed that the HLF was a ‘specially designated global terrorist’ (SDGT), and the next day, without informing the foundation of this decision, the FBI closed down its offices. Five staff members and the HLF itself were charged in 2004 with a variety of terrorism offences, on the basis that the money the organisation raised was ultimately going to fund Hamas.

     
  • Prison dispatches from the war on terror: Ex-CIA officer John Kiriakou speaks

    Families & Victims, Interviews January 19, 2015 at 1 comment

    Source: The Intercept. John Kiriakou is the only CIA employee to go to prison in connection with the agency’s torture program. Not because he tortured anyone, but because he revealed information on torture to a reporter.

     
  • A shocking report on Dr. Aafia Siddiqui

    Source: Peace Through Justice Foundation. This report (based on eyewitness testimony) reveals some of the torture visited upon Dr. Aafia Siddiqui when she was a secretly held prisoner overseas in Afghanistan from 2003-2008; and it serves as a reminder of why there is so much rage felt toward the United States of America and its global allies.

     
  • A special report on Dr. Aafia Siddqui

    Families & Victims November 25, 2014 at 0 comments

    Source: The Peace Thru Justice Foundation. The tragic story of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is mired in layers upon layers of cover-up – from the time she was targeted for a rendition operation (i.e., secret kidnapping, detention and torture) in her native Pakistan, based on nothing more than the “suspicion” of being a high ranking female functionary for al-Qaeda, to being brought back to the U.S. five years later (2008) and charged with “attempting to murder U.S. personnel” in Afghanistan. The question arises, is Aafia now embroiled in yet another cover-up? The former “ghost prisoner” at Bagram (Afghanistan) who’s frequent sobbing and haunting screams – from missing her children and from what was being done to her – would sometimes keep the male prisoners awake at night. A countrywoman arrives to facilitate a telephone call that she hasn’t had in MONTHS, and the person identified as Aafia turns her back and refuses to cooperate?!

     
  • ‘Cruel and unusual’ – Leaked prison letter from hunger striker Mohamed Soltan

    Families & Victims November 16, 2014 at 0 comments

    Source: Middle East Monitor. US citizen Mohamed Soltan has been in an Egyptian jail for over a year, and on hunger strike for nearly all of that time. He has smuggled a letter out of prison to mark his 27th birthday.