Hamas Invested in U.S. Real Estate

(Washington Times) Jerry Seper - The terrorist organization Hamas invested millions of dollars during the past decade in real-estate projects nationwide, including in suburban Maryland, as part of a scheme to raise cash to fund acts of terrorism, records show. The investments - involving the construction of hundreds of new homes - were handled through BMI Inc., a defunct Secaucus, N.J., investment firm founded by Soliman S. Biheiri, an Egyptian and Hamas supporter, according to a newly released sentencing declaration by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In the declaration, ICE senior agent David Kane said Biheiri, sentenced in January to a year in prison on immigration violations, used the firm beginning in 1991 to raise "large amounts of money" through investments and as a front to route cash from more than 100 bogus Hamas charities and businesses, most of which operated in Virginia. According to the declaration, significant amounts of cash obtained in the real-estate ventures were used "in furtherance of Hamas terrorist operations." An Oxon Hill, Md., project known as Barnaby Knolls was referred to by ICE agents as "Hamas West." One of the principal BMI investors in the Oxon Hill project was Mousa Mohammad Abu Marzook, the self-proclaimed political leader of Hamas detained by U.S. authorities in 1995 on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities. He later was expelled to Jordan and then deported to Syria for his ties to Hamas. Marzook has been named by Israeli authorities on charges of murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, and conspiracy in truck and bus bombings in Israel.

2004-03-26 00:00:00

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