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Fact Sheet on the Elashi Brothers and InfoCom
By SITE Institute
Published in: SITE Institute
December 18, 2002

The Elashi brothers were arrested on December 18, 2001, for money laundering, under the spectre of being affiliated with and funding Hamas.

The Elashi Brothers Fact Sheet

Executive Summary

Arrested on December 18, 2002, the Elashi brothers all had significant involvement in several Hamas fundraising vehicles. They were part of the original movement to create a Hamas infrastructure inside the United States. The entities which they aided to engender include InfoCom, which was co-funded by Hamas Political Director Mousa Abu Marzook, the Islamic Association of Palestine, widely reputed as a front for Hamas in the United States, and the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a specially designated global terrorist [SDGT] charity that has had its assets frozen.

InfoCom incorporated in California by the Elashi Brothers

InfoCom Corp. was incorporated in Richardson, Texas on March 16, 1 992 by Bayan Elashi after changing its name from International Computers and Communications, Inc. In addition to hosting websites for organizations throughout the US, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan, InfoCom ?exports large volume computer and information technology purchases to organizations around the world.? Bayan Elashi?s brothers, Ghassan, Ihsan, Hazim, and Basman are also listed as officials of InfoCom. Ghassan is InfoCom?s Vice President for Sales and Marketing and Bayan is the registered agent and Administrative Contact for web service.

CONNECTIONS TO HAMAS

Mousa abu Marzook

On September 6, 2001 OFAC blocked the assets of InfoCom. According to a report by FBI Agent Dale L. Watson, Assistant Director Counterterrorism Division, this was ?based on evidence that InfoCom received $250,000 start-up money from [Mousa abu] Marzook, …Political Bureau head of HAMAS, …during the same time frame as Marzook was providing funds to the HLFRD [Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development] and others associated with HAMAS.? Marzook transferred this money to the Elashi Brothers through his wife, who is a cousin of the Elashis. Thus, InfoCom?s very roots are connected to SDGT?s HAMAS and Mousa abu Marzook.

Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF)

Corporate records show that Ghassan Elashi is the registered agent and an owner of HLF at least as recently as May 2001. He also appears on IRS tax form 990 for the year 2000 as the Chairman of HLF in Texas. The same report as above, filed by Dale L. Watson, states that Ghassan Elashi is also the Chairman of the Board and one of two ?primary signatories of reference? on the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development?s bank accounts. HLF had its assets frozen and was declared a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entity [SDGT] by President Bush on December 4, 2001. The Department of State issued a statement that the ?Holy Land Foundation funds HAMAS-run schools that serve HAMAS ends by encouraging children to become suicide bombers. HAMAS recruits suicide bombers by offering support to their families; this support is ensured in part by Holy Land Foundation contributions.? Bayan Elashi and InfoCom, according to a ?whois? lookup, are also listed as the administrative contacts for HLF?s website.

Islamic Association for Palestine

The Elashi Brothers also have connections to the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP). The corporate records for IAP in California show Ghassan Elashi as the registered agent and list his address as the mailing address for IAP. Also, the corporate records for IAP in Texas show Basman Elashi and Ghassan Dahduli as co-owners. Furthermore, InfoCom at one point employed Ghassan Dahduli, a former officer of the American Middle Eastern League for Palestine (a charity affiliated with IAP) and alleged associate of Wadih el-Hage, Osama bin Laden?s personal secretary and one of the convicted organizers of the 1998 Bombings of the American Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. He has since been ordered deported by INS for his connections to el-Hage and bin Laden and for refusing to cooperate with authorities.

According to an INS report from August 14, 2001, IAP works in ?publishing and distributing HAMAS communiqués printed on IAP letterhead, as well as other written documentation to include the HAMAS charter and glory records, which are tributes to HAMAS? violent ?successes.?? The same report also indicates that IAP received ?approximately $490,000 from [Mousa abu] Marzook during the period in which Marzook held his admitted role as a HAMAS leader.?

WEBHOST FOR AL QAEDA FRONT GROUPS

Host for BIF and GRF

Besides hosting the website for HLF, Bayan Elashi is listed as the technical contact for the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF). BIF is the subject of a current federal investigation and has had its assets frozen for having ties to al Qaeda and has been declared a SDGT.

Global Relief Foundation?s (GRF) website, according to a ?whois? search, lists Bayan Elashi as its Administrative/Technical contact. The email listed for Elashi uses the domain ?InfoComcorp.com.? GRF, like BIF, is the subject of a current federal investigation and has had its assets frozen for having ties to al Qaeda and has been declared a SDGT.

CONNECTIONS TO SAUDI ARABIA

InfoCom was host to and provided hardware to Saudi companies including the Saudi Bin Laden Group

According to a press release on InfoCom's website, at the end of April/Beginning of May 1999, Ghassan Elashi went to Saudi Arabia in order to establish relationships with some of the biggest companies and organizations in the Kingdom. InfoCom?s relationship to large Saudi companies can be traced back as early as 1997, when InfoCom began hosting the website for the Saudi Bin Laden Group, which, according to a ?whois? search, lists Bayan Elashi and InfoCom?s name and address as the Administrative/Technical contacts. The same search also shows that the Saudi Bin Laden Group lists the same address (630 International Pkwy, #100, Richardson, TX 75081) as its registered address in the United States. The Saudi Bin Laden Group is Osama bin Laden?s family business, though his family and the company have disavowed any contact with him.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES

InfoCom had its export license revoked for sending computer hardware to terrorist states

According to an official statement by the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) (currently known as the Bureau of Industry and Security), InfoCom had its export license suspended on September 7, 2001, because it ?repeatedly exported computer technology to Libya and Syria in violation of U.S. export control laws,? and that the ?United States has designated Libya and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism.? The Bureau also alleged that InfoCom ?attempted to conceal shipments to those countries by undervaluing goods and filing false and deceptive shipping documents.? All five Elashi Brothers? names are also included as being a part of the export ban, which reveals their collective involvement in illegal export activity to terrorist states. On March 20, 2002, this order was renewed.

Ihsan Elashi pleads guilty to money laundering/credit card fraud charges and illegally exporting goods

On October 22, 2002, the Department of Justice reported that Ihsan Elashi was sentenced to 48 months in prison after pleading guilty to the 39 charges brought against him, which included shipping in violation of a Temporary Denial Order (TDO). This was for his involvement as the principal owner of a corporation called Tetrabal. Tetrabal was ordered to cease exporting goods on September 7, 2001 for violating the same exporting laws as InfoCom had. Elashi admitted the following:

On September 22, 2001, he and Tetrabal willfully violated the TDO by participating in a transaction that involved exporting, and the attempted exporting, of goods and commodities from the United States to Saudi Arabia, which goods were subject to the Export Administration Regulations of the United States.

The company in question is called Saudi Systems, Inc., which lists many Saudi ministries as clients. Elashi also admitted ?that he fraudulently acquired numerous credit cards in other persons' names, without the knowledge of the card holder? and he ?fraudulently acquired dozens of credit cards which he used to incur charges exceeding $750,000.?

WEBSITES PREVIOUSLY MAINTAINED BY INFOCOM

Benevolence International Foundation (BIF)
Global Relief Foundation
Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF)
Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP)
Saudi Bin Laden GroupWorld Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY)

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