September 18, 2003 -- HURRICANE
Isabel is giving the FBI a chance to avoid an injustice.
By forcing a delay in the bureau's annual award ceremony
(originally set for today), the storm gives Directer Robert Mueller
a chance to rescind the award he's set to give to a terror apologist
- at the same time he's to honor a 9/11 heroine.
Mueller will give the FBI's Exceptional Public Service Award
posthumously to Madeline Sweeney, the courageous flight attendant
murdered aboard Flight 11 (which hit the World Trade Center's North
Tower on 9/11). But when Sweeney's husband, Michael, accepts the
award at a ceremony now set for Oct. 9 at FBI Headquarters in
Washington, Imad Hamad will get one, too - the only other non-FBI
civilian to be so honored in America this year.
Unless Mueller rethinks this ill-advised choice. For Hamad
supports terrorism and was himself a suspected terrorist.
That the FBI would honor a man with Hamad's record is an outrage.
And it as an abomination to do it at the same time it honors Sweeney
for heroism in the face of death by terrorists.
Born in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, Hamad came to
America decades ago. But the Immigration and Naturalization Service
(INS) suspected him of being a member of the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), responsible for countless homicide
bombings and the October 2001 assassination of Israeli Tourism
Minister Rehavam Zeevi. It so opposed Hamad's presence in the United
States that it fought to deport him for over two decades.
But, due to political pressure from Michigan politicians like
Sen. Carl Levin and Rep. David Bonior, the immigration judge chose
to disregard classified evidence, and he is now a U.S. citizen.
Since then, as Midwest Regional Director of the American Arab
Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), Hamad has been busy promoting
the terrorist cause - doing interviews throughout the Detroit area
supporting Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic hate.
In a 2002 broadcast on Detroit's FOX affiliate, Hamad supported a
Palestinian Authority TV "Sesame Street"-style program that urges
Palestinian children to kill Jews and Christians and encourages them
to become homicide bombers. Hamad called the program "patriotic."
And Hamad has opposed virtually every arrest and conviction of
When U.S. Customs raided several Islamic businesses and arrested
owners for laundering over $50 million per year to Yemen in
violation of the Patriot Act, Hamad protested. When four Detroit al
Qaeda sleeper cell suspects were charged with plotting to blow up
landmarks and tourist attractions, Hamad protested again.
Then there's the 2002 National Palestinian Student Conference on
the Palestine Solidarity Movement, sponsored and endorsed by Hamad's
ADC: The ostensible purpose of the University of Michigan meeing was
to promote divestment from Israel - but the keynote speaker was Sami
Al-Arian, long alleged to be a frontman for Islamic Jihad and since
indicted for it. Worse, "Annihilate the Jews" was chanted in Arabic
at the event.
At Michigan ADC's April 25 awards banquet, Hamad gave its
"Attorney of the Year" award to Nabih Ayad, whose clients include
Omar Abdel Fatah Al-Shishani - accused of attempting to launder $12
million in phony bank checks to fund al Qaeda. Hamad defended him,
Hamad was nominated for the award by Detroit FBI Special Agent in
Charge Willie Hulon because he organized BRIDGES, a group of Arabs
who meet with Hulon and other Detroit federal agents once a month to
protest arrests of suspected terrorists, and because he enlisted
Hulon to partner with ADC for its unique brand of sensitivity
training for Detroit area high schoolers.
Since Hamad has opposed government efforts to thwart terrorism
and given his views, the FBI award is bad enough.
Worse, Robert Mueller is equating Hamad with a heroic, murdered
flight attendant who acted bravely in the face of terrorists.
Hopefully Mueller will rethink this mistake. Or Madeline Sweeney
might turn over in her grave.