Local media is reporting that U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas operative Muhammad Salah has been removed from the U.S. Treasury’s list of designated terrorists. According to a Chicago Sun Times report:
After 17 years, Muhammad Salah is a free man. Once again he can get a job, drive a car and buy gifts for his family members on their birthdays. The Bridgeview resident, now in his early 60s, has been removed from the U.S. Treasury Department’s list of terrorists. ‘Mr. Salah is delighted and relieved. It has been a long hard road,’ said David Cole, a professor at Georgetown Law School and cooperating attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, one of Salah’s attorneys. Cole said Salah is one of only three U.S. citizens living in the United States ever to have been designated as a ‘terrorist’ and subjected to the onerous economic sanctions that the designation entails. Two months ago, Salah and his local attorney, Matthew Piers, filed suit in federal court challenging the government-imposed restrictions, which prevented the father of four from paying a mortgage, getting medical care or even buying a loaf of bread without prior approval from the Treasury Department. One day before the law required it to respond to that suit, the Treasury Department announced Salah had been delisted. ‘The fact that the government folded so quickly on this speaks volumes to the unconstitutionality of this treatment,’ Cole said. ‘It took the filing of a federal lawsuit to force the government to confront the validity of its own actions.’ The delistment, Cole said, ‘is a victory for Mr. Salah and for all Americans.’ The Center for Constitutional Rights, the People’s Law Office and the firm of Hughes Socol Piers Resnick and Dym all have worked pro bono on Salah’s case because Salah was not able to pay for their services without a special license from the government. In addition, the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the American Friends Service Committee joined the lawsuit to challenge the designation’s violation of their First Amendment rights. Both groups were told it would be a crime to speak out in objection of Salah’s treatment. In a statement about the delistment, the Treasury Department said that under the regulations of the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, ‘a designated person has the option to, at any time, seek administrative reconsideration of the designation. ‘Mr. Salah chose not to avail himself of that process and instead filed suit against OFAC to be delisted.
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A post from September reported that attorneys for Muhammad Salah had filed a lawsuit on his behalf claiming that his designation as a terrorist was interfering with his finding employment and the conduct of his everyday life.
In 2004, The Chicago Tribune reported that Salah was a leader of the suburban Chicago Bridgeview Mosque, a notorious center of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas fundraising. According to the Tribune report:
One of Sheik Jamal’s fellow mosque leaders, Muhammad Salah, drew scrutiny for his Palestinian fundraising activities. In 1993, while part of the mosque’s eight-member executive committee, Salah was arrested at a Gaza Strip checkpoint and accused of financing Hamas military operations. He was sent to an Israeli prison for five years. In a statement to Israeli authorities that he later retracted, Salah said a religious leader in America recruited him into the Muslim Brotherhood, which led to his involvement in Hamas. The man he named: Sheik Jamal.
The Tribune also reported that as much as $1 million a year was raised from mosque members which was then sent to overseas Muslim charities. The mosque donated money to three Islamic charities that have since been identified as involved in financing terrorism—the Holy Land Foundation, Benevolence International, and the Global Relief Foundation. Past posts have also detailed the ties among the Bridgeview Mosque and U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations such as the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).