January 7, 2010
Simon Wiesenthal Center to Obama Administration: All Terrorist Members and Enablers Worldwide Must Be immediately Added to No-Fly List
“Americans’ Safety Trumps Foreign Policy Concerns”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center praised President Obama’s commitment to expand the nation’s no-fly watchlist and other measures to safeguard the American people, but respectfully disagrees with a central premise of the President’s approach by limiting the war against terrorism to Al Qaida and its affiliates.
To make Americans safer from terrorist attacks, the United States government needs to immediately expand its terrorist watchlist by tens of thousands,” said Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper the Founder and Dean and Associate Dean of the Jewish Human Rights NGO. “If six and a half decades after the Holocaust, there are 50,000 Nazis still on the Justice Department’s watchlist, how can there only be 3,400 identifiable terrorists on the Homeland Security’s watchlist”?
Center officials made this point in a letter earlier this week to Secretary of Home Security Napolitano which urged her to immediately add the many thousands of names of members and enablers of Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Jemmah Islamiyah and other terror groups listed by the State Department and the European Union.
The January 6th letter went on to say: “And there are others—who like so much the Nazi hierarchy and those who helped transform hate into mass murder in Rwanda and Darfur—who never fired a bullet, never strapped themselves to a ticking bomb, who deserve to be publicly placed on America’s terror watch list. They include [people like] al Jazeera’s Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi whose online fatwa insists that Palestinian women have the right to attain martyrdom by blowing themselves up amidst Israelis. There is Omar Bakri Muhammad, who once claimed to be a recruiter for al Qaeda and organized the “Magnificent 19” (9/11 bombers) in London. Jordan’s Dr. Ibrahim Zayd Al-Kilani who said this “…killing a transgressing American soldier is an obligation and a kind of Jihad. There are the followers of Indonesia’s notorious Abu Bakar Bashir, Jamaica’s Abdullah el-Faisel, and Libyan-born Abu Yaha al- Libi who defends the “legitimacy of violent Jihad as a “religious obligation”. And of course, Yemen’s favorite American Anwar al-Awlaki who served as spiritual mentor and validator to Fort Hood’s Col. Hasan and the Northwest Airliner terrorist.”
Center officials added, “Without question there will be geo-political consequences, especially in the Middle East, by calling out terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. It may also be true that not everyone who belongs to a terrorist group will become a suicide bomber or an enabler of a terror plot, but common sense dictates that their hatred of America and terrorist affiliation alone demands that they suffer the consequences - why should the American flying public have to take unnecessary risks?”
“By compiling a true terror watch list, the United States and allies will reassure a shaken world that no one committed to terrorism against innocent civilians is onboard their flight. Such a policy will also help strengthen the hand of moderates across the Arab and Muslim world struggling against these extremists. And by providing the guardians of our borders with accurate and timely information about all those who promote and deploy terrorism against our nation we can help co-opt the need to turn to blanket racial and ethnic profiling.“
The Wiesenthal Center pointed to another US government watch list—the Justice Department’s Nazi Watchlist, which included as many as 70,000 individuals, many of whom were never connected directly to murder during WWII, but as members of the SS - a group identified at Nuremburg as a criminal organization that enabled and abetted the ‘Final Solution’ – they were all added to the Watchlist.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).
For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.