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Press ReleaseTerrorism: International
ADL Commends Law Enforcement For Arrests Of Suspected Terrorist Supporters

Miami, FL, February 20, 2003 The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) commended federal law enforcement for taking steps to root out terrorism with today's arrests of several men suspected of aiding and abetting international terrorist groups, including that of a tenured Florida professor previously accused of having ties to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Sami Al-Arian, a Palestinian college professor at the University of South Florida, was arrested on a federal indictment in Tampa.

"We are gratified that the federal authorities have taken this decisive step in countering alleged fundraising and material support activities for terrorist organizations including Hamas and Islamic Jihad," said Arthur Teitelbaum, ADL Southern Area Director. "Al-Arian's arrest is particularly significant, as this is an individual who has long been suspected of having close ties with leaders of terrorist groups."

"Al-Arian claims his arrest is 'all about politics,'" Mr. Teitelbaum said. "Well, it is about politics. It's his support for the politics of violence and terror."

In 1991, Al-Arian founded the World and Islam Studies Enterprise (WISE), a think-tank that was under contract with the University of South Florida, where Al-Arian is a tenured professor in engineering and computer science. He also was a founder of Islamic Committee for Palestine, a nonprofit group that once hosted conferences where speakers expressed support for Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The former director of WISE, Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, disappeared in 1995 and later resurfaced in Damascus, Syria as the head of Islamic Jihad, a group designated as an international sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. State Department.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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2003 Anti-Defamation League