Terrorism charges brought Friday against the administrator of a loan investment program claimed that he secretly tried to send $152,000 to the Middle East to buy equipment such as night vision goggles for a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan.
Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari, 53, of Ardsley, N.Y., pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to an indictment accusing him of terrorism financing, material support of terrorism and other charges. The charges carried a potential penalty of 95 years in prison.
But would you really believe me if I told you he was a Republican?
CBS News has confirmed that Alishtari is a donor to the Republican Party, as he claims on his curriculum vitae. Alishtari gave $15,500 to the National Republican Campaign Committee between 2002 and 2004, according to Federal Election Commission records. That amount includes $13,000 in 2003, a year when he claims to have been named NRCC New York State Businessman of the Year.
Alishtari also claims to be a lifetime member of the National Republican Senate Committee's Inner Circle, which the NRCC describes as "an impressive cross-section of American society – community leaders, business executives, entrepreneurs, retirees, and sports and entertainment celebrities – all of whom hold a deep interest in our nation's prosperity and security."
The Republican party needs to be placed on "The List" of terrorist related organizations and watched very carefully.
It is pretty apparent that the FBI and Homeland Security are wasting their time watching us liberal/peacenik/Quaker/progressive/etc. types. Just ask Ken Krayeske...
[updates] Thank you to those that got this story moving. Raw Story, Crooks and Liars, and Josh Marshall, whose his readers have been dig, dig, digging:
Choice artifacts they have dug up?
Never too Late for this Story Update: Oh that's interesting. Cunning Realist found this CV purportedly posted by Mr. Alishtari. In addition to other GOP donor awards, Alishtari says that he was appointed to something called the "White House Business Advisory Committee" in 2003. And CR ends with this point, referencing Alishtari's CV: "Note the entrepreneurial business background with a focus on technology/security. Have any of those businesses ever received government contracts or funds? Any direct or indirect contact in the past with anyone from the Bush administration or Congress?"That:
And the other thing:
It tuns out Mr. Alishtari, the GOP campaign contributor indicted for sending funds for terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, had a fairly lively life online. TPM Reader TDP points to what purports to be Alishtari's blog. And in a rather rambling post there's a reference to an alleged meeting with VP Dick Cheney. "When I went to DC in the Fall of 2003 and met with VP Cheney, I was first in a room full of advisors where I asked how to resolve this and they advised me to talk to counsels which led to this solution."Now, we can't be certain that this is actually Alishtari's blog, though I think the weight of evidence suggests that it is.
He contributed a decent amount of money to GOP congressional campaign committees in the 2002 and 2004 cycles and managed get named to a number of 'committees' and 'councils' set up as perks for GOP campaign contributors, including something called the "White House Business Advisory Committee."
Now a reader of the Cunning Realist blog has dug up the archived version of the website of Mr. Alishtari's company, GlobalProtector, which shows that at the same time Alishtari was giving money to the GOP he was bidding on multiple government contracts -- including ones with the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security.
This story should have had legs of its own... What the heck was the NY Post doing trying to pass this guy off as a "Peace Activist"?
"A Westchester businessman and purported peace activist was nabbed by the feds for allegedly plotting to funnel more than $150,000 to terrorists at training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan."
Peace activist my ass! This guy is so up to his eyeballs in the GOP and full of it.