Investigators warn terror support comes from inside U.S.

By MICHAEL CARL

Mosques in the United States that follow the Shiite Islam of Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini are lending more than moral support to radical Islam; they are sending financial support, according to reports from investigators.

After all, it was the 2007 Holy Land Foundation trial that was called the largest terrorism financing prosecution in American history that set all sorts of precedents, including the naming of such prominent Muslim advocates as the Council on American-Islamic Relations as unindicted co-conspirators.

Dozens of convictions resulted after the government alleged the charity, the largest Islamic charity in the U.S. at the time, was raising money for Hamas.

Allegations that mosques now are raising funds for Hezbollah come from Sam Bazzi, director of the Islamic Counterterrorism Institute and others.

SaM BaZzI
The counterterrorism analyst Sam Bazzi

He reports he's been in mosques and has seen how the fundraising works.

"They are contributing to Hezbollah indirectly because every Shi'a Muslim has to pay a 20 percent yearly tax on their savings. This goes basically to the clerics as a donation," he said.

"Hezbollah supporters in the U. S. mosques send money to their bank accounts in Lebanon. When they go to Lebanon for vacation in the summer, they go to the clerics in the mosques in Lebanon and pay the Khums (offering) to the mosque in Lebanon. When they do that, they're giving it to Hezbollah," he said.

But the State Department in 1997 designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

Hezbollah, founded in Iran, has a stated goal of destroying the state of Israel. It has attacked American, French and Israeli forces, has kidnapped and held hostages, killed 241 in an attack on U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon and reportedly exercises virtual control in Lebanon.

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Sam Bazzi – Arcs

SaM BaZzIBy SaM BaZzI, counterterrorism analyst

Sam Bazzi, a technologist and a counter-terrorism and Middle East expert, is the founder of Arcs Business Solutions, LLC.

Arcs is a web publishing company, specializing in online counter-ideology and counter-terrorism. Arcs was founded in 2005. The company is currently based in California.

The Islamic Counterterrorism Institute is one of the web-based projects launched by Arcs under the leadership of Bazzi.