The Al-Arian Case
- Timeline of Case
Dr. Al-Arian's Attorneys
Dr. Al-Arian's Lawyers in Virginia (2007-current)
JONATHAN TURLEY, Washington, DC
Professor Jonathan Turley is a nationally recognized legal scholar who has written extensively in areas ranging from constitutional law to legal theory to tort law.
He has written over three dozen academic articles that have appeared in a variety of leading law journals at Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Northwestern, and other schools.
Professor Turley joined the George Washington faculty in 1990 and, in 1998, was given the prestigious Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law, the youngest chaired professor in the school’s history. In addition to his extensive publications, Professor Turley has served as counsel in some of the most notable cases in the last two decades. Professor Turley has also served as counsel in a variety of national security cases.
Professor Turley is a frequent witness before the House and Senate on constitutional and statutory issues. Professor Turley is also a nationally recognized legal commentator. Professor Turley was ranked as 38th in the top 100 most cited “public intellectuals”. Turley was also found to be the second most cited law professor in the country. He has been repeatedly ranked in the nation’s top 500 lawyers in annual surveys - one of onlya handful of academics. In prior years, he was ranked as one of the nation’s top ten lawyers in military law cases as well as one of the top 40 lawyers under 40.
Professor Turley’s articles on legal and policy issues appear regularly in national publications with over 500 articles in such newspapers as the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal. He is on the Board of Contributors of USA Today. In 2005, Turley was given the Columnist of the Year award for Single-Issue Advocacy for his columns on civil liberties by the Aspen Institute and the Week Magazine. Professor Turley also appears regularly as a legal expert on all of the major television networks.
Since the 1990s, he has worked under contract as the on-air Legal Analyst for NBC News, CBS News, and MSNBC. Professor Turley is often a guest on Sunday talk shows with over two-dozen appearances on Meet the Press, ABC This Week, Face the Nation, and Fox Sunday.
Professor Turley teaches courses on constitutional lawas well as constitutional criminal law.
Professor Turley received his B.A. at the University of Chicago and his J.D. at Northwestern. (In 2008, he was given an honorary Doctorate of Law from John Marshall Law School for his contributions to civil liberties and the public interest).
Philip J. Meitl of Bryan Cave, Washington, DC
Philip (PJ) Meitl's practice focuses on matters involving government and internal investigations, securities enforcement and civil litigation. Mr. Meitl has assisted in the defense of domestic and international clients under criminal investigation by federal law enforcement agencies, and has been involved in trial litigation in numerous jurisdictions.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Meitl interned in the fraud and public corruption unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, working on a variety of white-collar criminal matters. During law school, he served as editor-in-chief of the American Criminal Law Review,known for its "Annual Survey on White-Collar Crime".
William E. Olson of Bryan Cave, Washington, DC (2007-2010)
William Olson’s practice includes representing individuals in criminal matters pending before federal courts and counseling corporations and individuals on regulatory and criminal law matters.
Dr. Al-Arian appeals' Lawyers before the 11th circuit (2006-2008)
C. Peter Erlinder, St. Paul, MN
William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, MN, professor of law since 1982.
Professor Erlinder is a frequent litigator or consultant, often pro bono, in cases involving the death penalty, civil rights, claims of government and police misconduct, and criminal defense of political activists. He is also a frequent news commentator.
National president, National Lawyers Guild, 1993–97. Founding board member, National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom, Washington, DC. Member, National Conference of Bill of Rights Defense Committees Steering Committee, Washington, DC.
Jack E. Fernandez, Jr. of Zuckerman-Spaeder, Tampa, FL
With experience placing him in the center of many of the most high-profile issues of our day, Jack E. Fernandez Jr. concentrates his practice on state and federal False Claims Act, criminal, and white collar litigation. His clients range from Fortune 500 companies to healthcare providers to a Middle Eastern country to individual corporate executives.
Before entering private practice, Mr. Fernandez served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida, where he investigated, tried, and argued appeals in numerous complex federal cases, including defense contractor fraud, healthcare fraud, tax and securities fraud, satellite signal piracy, and intellectual property cases. He was one of the founding members of the U.S. Attorney’s Health Care Fraud Task Force for the Middle District of Florida.Lee Fugate of Zuckerman-Spaeder, Tampa, FLBefore entering private practice, Mr. Fugate served as a state prosecutor in Florida. While a state prosecutor, he was involved in trials dealing with complex public corruption, racketeering, and complex narcotics smuggling cases.Dr. Al-Arian Lawyers for the Florida case (2003-2006)
William B. Moffitt , Washington, DC
On Oct. 29, 2003, Al-Arian hired Washington, D.C., attorney William B.Moffitt.
Bill Moffitt is a past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America publication on numerous occasions. Moffitt has also been featured as a legal expert on a number of television networks.
A local Florida newspaper reported in 2004 that Bill Moffitt "dedicated his professional life to holding the U.S. government to the principles it espouses to the rest of the world. Moffitt is passionate in his defense of Al-Arian, having long spoken out on issues of race and political freedom."
"I've always felt that in times of crises, we sometimes pick out people to be made the devils," Moffitt told the paper.
He also described the Al-Arian case as the first "civil rights case of the 21st century."
Mr. Moffitt passed away on April 24, 2009. (See Dr. Al-Arian mourning his friend and former attorney.)
Linda Moreno Tampa, FL
Linda Moreno was Dr. Al-Arian's local attorney in Tampa, Florida. She has been a criminal defense attorney for the past 30 years. She is known as a passionate and experienced criminal defense lawyer defending political cases including Palestinians and Native Americans.
Since Dr. Al-Arian's trial, she has been the most experienced and sought after crminal defense attorney in the country on national security cases including other cases in Florida, Texas, Michigan, New York, Missouri, Illinois, Guantanamo Bay and many others.
Claim vs. Fact
Fact Sheet: The Case of Dr. Al-Arian, et alThe case of Dr. Sami Al-Arian and his co-defendants, Sameeh Hammoudeh, Hatim Fariz, and Ghassan Ballut has far-reaching implications for political rights and for the Muslim community as a whole. Unfortunately, many ordinary citizens have been intimidated from speaking out or contributing money to help defend this case as a result of the Justice Department's media hype and inflammatory rhetoric. In its indictment of these men, however, the government has resurrected old allegations that have already been debunked and added to them new sensationalized charges. The following overview, prepared by National Liberty Fund legal experts, is intended to clarify some of the government's claims against Dr. Al-Arian and his co-defendants, which are based on innuendoes, guilt-by-association, and misidentification of key individuals. Some of the many false accusations and erroneous factual allegations are addressed below. In the coming months, much of these allegations in the indictment would be refuted and exposed.
• CLAIM: The World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE) was a "racketeering enterprise" because Dr. Al-Arian was listed on the WISE bank account along with Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, who several years later became the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
• FACT: The government has been making this same guilt-by-association argument for years, but to no avail. In fact, in Oct. 2000, a federal immigration judge ruled: "Although there were allegations that (WISE and a related group, the Islamic Committee for Palestine) were 'fronts' for Palestinian political causes, there is no evidence before the Court that demonstrates that either organization was a front for the PIJ. To the contrary, there is evidence in the record to support the conclusion that WISE was a reputable and scholarly research center and the ICP was highly regarded." WISE had never sent a penny outside the US. All its funds during its existence between 1990 and 1995 were spent on its publications, seminars and intelectual activities. The government cannot produce any evidence to the contrary.
• CLAIM: In Dec. 1988, Dr. Sami Al-Arian attended an ICP conference in St. Louis where "funds were solicited and raised for the PIJ" and Dr. Al-Arian "attempted to recruit one or more individuals to join the PIJ."
• FACT: Another old claim rejected by a federal judge in 2000: "The Court finds it remarkable that out of five-hundred videotapes that were seized, from which a thirteen-minute composite tape was created, not one excerpt of the composite depicted Respondent engaging in fundraising for any organization … Even if the Court found that the evidence demonstrated that the ICP raised money for the PIJ at this event, it was not illegal to do so until 1997… However, in this case, there is still no evidence that the Respondent raised funds for the PIJ or sent funds to the PIJ. In conclusion, the Court finds that the evidence does not demonstrate that Respondent engaged in fundraising for the PIJ through the ICP."
• CLAIM: The Feb. 20, 2003 indictment stated that in Nov. 2002, co-defendant Hatim Fariz had a telephone conversation with PIJ leader Abd Al-Aziz Awda, who is a specially designated terrorist, in which they "discussed a variety of issues about fund-raising and distributing money."
• FACT: The man on the phone is identified only as "Abu Ahmad." However, the government artificially substitutes the name of "Abu Ahmad," an appellation that could easily apply to thousands of men in the Gaza Strip, with that of Abd Al-Aziz Awda, who goes by the alias "Abu Ahmad." According to a sworn affidavit, the real "Abu Ahmad" with whom Mr. Fariz spoke was a Gaza school principal and the two men were discussing contributions to his school. "Abu Ahmad". In addition, the government and its chief FBI agent, admitted that Mr. Awda left the PIJ in 1997. Despite that knowledge by the US government since the late 90's, they continue to make that claim.
• CLAIM: The indictment stated that in April 1991, at a conference in Cleveland, Dr. Al-Arian was introduced by "Unindicted Co-Conspirator One" as the head of the Islamic Committee for Palestine "which was described as the active arm of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine [PIJ], in North America."
• FACT: Again, the very same allegations had been made in the past, also to no avail. In 2000, immigration Judge Kevin McHugh ruled that there was "no evidence" that any of the money raised during the Cleveland event ever went to the PIJ. Additionally, and most notably, "Unindicted Co-Conspirator One" was subsequently naturalized as a U.S. citizen during the time of all the electronic interceptions. That fact alone, according to Judge McHugh, undermined the government's claim that the fundraising that occurred was in any way connected to "terrorist activity."
• CLAIM: In April 1992, defendants possessed the wills of three Palestinian suicide bombers, along with the PIJ Manifesto and other PIJ organizational documents in the WISE office.
• FACT: It is hardly remarkable that a think tank dedicated to the study of the Middle East and focusing particularly on Palestinian issues, would possess documents related to the activities of Palestinian individuals and groups most directly involved in the conflict. The mere possession of literature does not automatically imply an endorsement of, much less participation, in such activities. Otherwise, most every library and research institute in the country might be similarly implicated in one form of "terrorism" or another. Government investigators either falsified the date or ignored the fact that part of the wills were entered in the computer (in April) 2 months after the incident (in February) and their publications overseas as part of a potential article in a journal publication.
• CLAIM: The 2003 indictment states that in June 1993, Dr. Al-Arian "caused four separate wire transfers of $2,000 each to his account at Bank Leumi in Tel Aviv, Israel."
• FACT: Dr. Al-Arian has never had a bank account at Bank Leumi or any other bank in Israel. Meanwhile, according to Bank Leumi, an individual would have to present a valid passport and appear in person in Tel Aviv before he could open such an account. Dr. Al-Arian has never been to Tel Aviv. In fact, as a stateless Palestinian, he does not even have a passport. It's indisputable that Dr. Al-Arian had not wired or sent any money outside the US since 1993, long before any designation.
• CLAIM: The indictment states that in Nov. 1992, "Unindicted Co-Conspirator Five" sent a letter referring to Dr. Al-Arian, co-defendant Bashir Nafi, Khalil Shiqaqi, "Unindicted Co-Conspirator Twelve," along with Shallah and Awda, as "part of and an extension of his group and promised to send the remainder of the money pledged previously."
• FACT: Based on its own innuendoes and guilt-by-association, the government has inadvertently implicated itself in whatever nefarious activities it is attempting to imply. "Co-Conspirator Five" is a distinguished Muslim scholar who has served as an advisor to the U.S. government and was invited by Administration officials to participate in government-funded events as late as Nov. 2002. Similarly, Dr. Khalil Shiqaqi is the director of the Center for Palestine Research and Studies (CPRS), a prominent Palestinian think tank in the West Bank city of Nablus that is partly funded by the U.S. Congress through the National Endowment for Democracy. He has been a frequent visitor to the US and recently taught as a visiting professor at Brandeis University.
• CLAIM: "This indictment is the most recent of the Department's efforts to choke off terrorist resources and financing."
• FACT: Not only has it not proven its allegations against Dr. Al-Arian, the government has never proved allegations of "terrorist financing" against Muslim charities. In the case of Benevolence International Foundation, the government was forced to drop "terrorism financing" charges against its director Enaam Arnaout in October 2002. Similarly, in the case of Ghassan Elashi, former head of the Holy Land Foundation, a federal judge ordered him released on his without bond just days after the Attorney General referred to him as a "thug." Former Global Relief Foundation chairman Rabih Haddad was never even charged with crime, and even after being forced to open his deportation hearings to the public, the government has yet to offer any evidence linking him to terrorism.
• CLAIM: Dr. Sami Al-Arian is a threat to the community.
• FACT: Dr. Al-Arian has been a lawful permanent resident since 1989 and had never been charged with a crime since arriving in the United States in 1975. Countless individuals from his local community and from around the country have attested to his character as a dedicated father, husband, college professor, and community leader. As an advocate for voter education, civic participation, and inter-faith dialogue, Dr. Al-Arian has been an active proponent of and participant in our nation's democracy. Yet the government wants us to believe Dr. Al-Arian, who has met both Presidents Clinton and Bush, attended briefings at the White House and Justice Department, and befriended many members of Congress over the years, is now a threat to the community.
• CLAIM: Defendants are "innocent until proven guilty."
• FACT: Though none has been convicted of a crime, Dr. Al-Arian and his co-defendant are subjected to atrocious conditions of confinement that are worse than those of many convicted criminals. Since April 3, 2003 they have been held in 23-hour isolation in the "special housing unit" of a maximum-security federal prison 75 miles from their attorneys and families. They are allowed only one phone call per month, during which their hands are manacled behind their back. Dr. Al-Arian, who is diabetic and has been on a hunger strike since his February 20 arrest, is continually denied medical attention. Moreover, he is repeatedly denied access to his attorney. On the few occasions Dr. Al-Arian has been allowed to meet with his attorney, he was barred from bringing paper or pens or receiving any material whatsoever, including those related to his case.
(Fact Sheet: May 2003)
- Background in Brief
United Faculty of Florida Summary
United Faculty of Florida
Coprehensive Summary of the Case of
Prof. Al-Arian at USF