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SITE Publications
Idaho Arrest Puts Muslim Students Under U.S. Scrutiny
By SITE Institute
Published in: SITE Institute
May 30, 2003

The Wall Street Journal reported on May 28 that the arrest of Idaho graduate student Sami al-Hussayen indicates that the U.S. is increasingly looking at studentsí activities in the country and whether they may be contributing to an atmosphere that encourages or approbates terrorism. Al-Hussayen while an active student at the University of Idaho in Moscow was also an official at the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA), which according to the FBI, produced virulently anti-American websites that exhorted people to jihad against the West and non-Muslims. SITE Institute Director Rita Katz noted that often these websites have their radical content available only in Arabic, presenting themselves with a deceptively moderate face in the English versions of the website. Portions of the article are reproduced below, and the whole article can be viewed at http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB105406885465552500-search,00.html?collection=wsjie/2day&vql_string=muslim%20students%20association(article-body). To learn more about IANA, please read Rita Katz and Josh Devonís piece on IANA in the National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-katz-devon031103.asp. ----- Idaho Arrest Puts Muslim Students Under U.S. Scrutiny, Examination Saudi Accused of Aiding Extremists; Supporters Cite Free-Speech Rights By PAUL M. BARRETT Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL MOSCOW, Idaho -- In the days after Sept. 11, 2001, Sami Omar al-Hussayen led fellow Muslims as they joined an emotion-charged candlelight march remembering the dead. The Saudi graduate student in computer science at the University of Idaho helped organize a blood drive for victims. He issued a press release on behalf of the Muslim Students Association, stating that the small town's Muslims "condemn in the strongest terms possible what are apparently vicious acts of terrorism against innocent citizens." That's why people in this rural university town were so surprised on Feb. 26, when Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrived before dawn in unmarked vehicles at Mr. Hussayen's home to arrest him. The agents rousted him from bed and took him away in handcuffs. Over the next two days, most members of the campus MSA, which Mr. Hussayen formerly headed, were interrogated about their immigration status, extracurricular activities and views of the U.S. . . . The government says in court filings that on Sept. 11, 2000, Mr. Hussayen registered the Internet site www.alasr.ws, an Arabic-language online magazine. The site is produced by IANA and provides links to other IANA sites, according to Rita Katz, a Washington-based terrorism researcher who is a native Arabic speaker and has consulted with the government on the Hussayen case. In June 2001, alasr.ws carried an article by a Saudi-trained Kuwaiti cleric titled, "Provision of Suicide Operations," according to an excerpt of an English translation in court papers. "The warrior must kill himself if he knows that this will lead to killing a great number of the enemies, and that he will not be able to kill them without killing himself first, or demolishing a center vital to the enemy or its military force," wrote Sheik Hamed al-Ali. "This can be accomplished with the modern means of bombing or bringing down an airplane on an important location that will cause the enemy great losses." Ms. Katz, the director of the SITE Institute, a nonprofit research group, says, "The English versions of many of these Jihadist Web sites and publications don't have terrorist propaganda; you have to know where to look on the Arabic sites." The English version of the IANA site islamway.com (http://english.islamway.com) offers articles on such topics as "Why Can't a Muslim Woman Marry a Non-Muslim Man?" The Arabic-language version of the site in June 2001 carried an article advocating suicide bombings against "unbelievers who have declared war against the Muslims," according to FBI filings in the Hussayen case.

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