While the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, may not send out press releases celebrating the capture, imprisonment and deportation of an imam, Americans should be aware that some clerics from the "religion of peace" may require closer scrutiny by law enforcement.
The US government last Friday deported a former Cleveland imam to the Palestinian territories after he was convicted by a federal jury of lying about his involvement with a designated terrorist organization.
Fawaz Damrah, 46, previously the imam of Ohio's largest mosque, raised money in the early 1990s for the group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which is designated by the US State Department as a foreign terrorist organization.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials initiated the removal process against Damrah after the US Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio successfully prosecuted Damrah for lying on his naturalization application by not disclosing his affiliation with the terrorist organization.
Immigration Judge Marsha Nettles subsequently ordered Damrah removed from the United States for providing material support to a terrorist organization, following the imam's one-year in federal prison.
The PIJ has carried out a long campaign of terror through suicide bombings and assassinations. In February 1990, the PIJ attacked a tour bus in Egypt, killing 11 people, including nine Israelis. The PIJ has also threatened Western interests and targeted US officials for assassination. In recent weeks, the PIJ has fired rockets into Israel despite an official cease-fire in Gaza.
Evidence presented during Damrah's criminal trial showed that he exploited the PIJ's terrorist attacks during fundraising activities for the organization. On videotape shown in court of a 1991 fundraising event, Damrah is seen explaining that, "...whoever donates... it is as if he too is fighting the holy war, and he will be rewarded like him, even if he stays home."
During other fundraising events Damrah said, "Terrorism and terrorism alone is the path to liberation."
Meanwhile, Muslims in the Detroit, MI area have repeatedly supported the imam, claiming that he is a "peace loving and religious man."
Upon arrival in Israel's international airport, the imam was met by Israeli security agents and arrested. The Israeli government hasn't commented on what they will do with Damrah or what charges will be brought against him.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.