The MSA has a growing list of terrorist alumni as noted in this post, Why Muslim Student Group Concerned the NYPD: *updates below
The list is extensive, but among the MSA alumni who went on to terrorist involvement are:
- Anwar al-Awlaki, an influential American-born al-Qaida cleric who recruited a series of homegrown jihadists before being killed by a U.S. drone strike;
- Aafia Siddiqui, convicted of attempted murder and assault on U.S. officers and employees in Afghanistan;
- Zachary Chesser, convicted of attempting to provide material support to the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab and soliciting attacks on “South Park” producers for an episode in which the prophet Muhammad was shown in a bear suit;
- Jesse Morton, convicted with Chesser of threatening the South Park producers with murder;
- Adam Gadahn, an al-Qaida spokesman who is on the FBI’s Most Wanted List for treason and material support to al-Qaida;
- Waheed Zaman, who was convicted of plotting to blow up transatlantic flights;
- Adis Medunjanin, who is awaiting trial for plotting to bomb New York subways;
- Ramy Zamzam, who was convicted in Pakistan of conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks;
- Omar Hammami, who was indicted on charges of providing material support to al-Shabbab and is designated by the U.S. Treasury Department for his terrorist connections;
- Muhammad Junaid Babar, who pled guilty to his support to al-Qaida; and
- Syed Hashmi, who pled guilty to providing material support to al-Qaida.
MSA was founded in the United States in 1963 by members of the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood seeks a global Islamic state and has spawned leaders of a series of Sunni terrorist groups, including al-Qaida, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The Muslim Brotherhood motto established by founder Hassan al-Banna is, “God is our objective, the Quran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our way, and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations.”
MSA members remain faithful to Brotherhood ideology. At the closing session of the MSA West conference in January 2011 at UCLA, attendees recited a pledge, “Allah is my lord, Islam is my life, the Quran is my guide, the Sunna is my practice, Jihad is my spirit, righteousness is my character, paradise is my goal. I enjoin what is right, I forbid what is wrong, I will fight against oppression, and I will die to establish Islam.”
Update 1 via the Hayride: h/t terrortrends
- In June 2006, Ali Asad Chandia, who had served as president of the Montgomery College (Maryland) MSA in 1998 and 1999, was convicted on terror charges as part of a Northern Virginia jihad network; he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for three separate counts of conspiracy and material support to the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
- Abdurahman Alamoudi, who served as MSA national president in 1982 and 1983, is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for his extensive international terrorist activities, which included fundraising for al Qaeda.
- In February 2010, Aafia Siddiqui – a woman who had been captured in 2008 with explosives, deadly chemicals, and a list of New York City landmarks – was convicted of attempting to murder a U.S. Army captain while she was incarcerated and being interrogated by authorities at a prison in Afghanistan. Described variously as “al-Qaeda’s Mata Hari” and “Lady al-Qaeda,” Siddiqui had previously been radicalized by the MSA chapter at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she studied neuroscience.
- Wael Hamza Julaidan, who served as president of the University of Arizona MSA in the mid-1980s, went on to become one of al Qaeda’s co-founders and its logistics chief. In September 2002, the U.S. governmentlisted Julaidan as a specially designated global terrorist, identifying him as a close associate of Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders, and as a director of the Rabita Trust, which had already been designated a terrorist finance entity that supported al-Qaeda.
- University of Idaho MSA president Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, who operated nearly a dozen Arabic-language websites for anti-American, pro-suicide-bombing clerics, was accused by federal authorities of using his academic studies as a cover for terrorist support activities. Al-Hussayen wasdeported to Saudi Arabia in June 2004 after agreeing to a deal with federal prosecutors.
- In December 2009, Howard University dental student Ramy Zamzam, who had served as the president of MSA’s D.C. Council, was arrested in Pakistan along with four other D.C.-area men (all of whom were also active in MSA). All five were charged with plotting to join the Jaish-e-Muhammed terrorist group with plans to attack U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan; all five were convicted in a Pakistani court in June 2010 and sentenced to at least 10 years in prison.
- Syed Maaz Shah, secretary of the University of Texas-Dallas MSA chapter, was arrested in December 2006, for his involvement in paramilitary training at an Islamic campground, where he was preparing to join the Taliban in order to fight U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Shah was convicted on weapons charges in May 2007.
- Ziyad Khaleel, president of the Columbia College (Missouri) MSA, was a representative of the Islamic Association for Palestine (a Hamas front). He also registered and operated the English-language website for Hamas, and served as al Qaeda’s chief procurement agent in the United States during the 1990s. Among the items Khaleel purchased was a $7,500 satellite phone for Osama bin Laden. That phone, dubbed by intelligence authorities as the “jihad phone,” was used to plan the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings.
- Anwar Al-Awlaki served as president of the Colorado State University MSA in the early 1990s, and as chaplain of the George Washington University MSA in 2001. In Washington, DC, he delivered sermons that were attended by two of the 9/11 hijackers and by Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan. In 2002 Alwaki fled the U.S. for Yemen, where he developed ties to al Qaeda and reportedly played a role in the Fort Hood massacre of 2009, the failedChristmas Day underwear-bomber plot of 2009, and the attempted Times Square bombing of 2010.
- Carlos Bledsoe, aka Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, was a member of the MSA as a student at Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN. Bledsoe went on to receive terrorist training at a jihadist training camp in Yemen and returned to the US and murdered US Army Private Andy Long outside a Little Rock, Arkansas recruiting office on June 1, 2009.
- Abu Mansoor al-Amriki, aka Omar Hammami is an American-born member of al Shahab, a Somali Islamic militant group aligned with al Qaeda. Hammami served as president of the MSA chapter at the University of South Alabama.
- Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who would later go on to mastermind the September 11th terrorist attacks as the number 3 man in Al Qaeda, was a member of the MSA chapter at North Carolina A&T in 1986.
Update 2 via a CJR reader in Canada: h/t lburt
Here are some names in Canada
Ahmed Said Khadr
MSA University of Ottawa
Ahmed Said Khadr’s radicalization at the University of Ottawa
MSA University of Manitoba
Archive.Today (Former MSA Manitoba president Shariq Kidwai said that Ferid Imam has been a president of the association before him.)
Muhanad Al Farekh
MSA University of Manitoba
After being deported to the U.S. from Pakistan, former MSA Manitoba leader Al Farekh appears in a New York court to face terrorism charges
Update 3: Add a pedophile to the list – Ahmad Saleem
Orlando community activist Ahmad Saleem drove to a Clermont-area house intending to meet a 12-year-old girl he had been chatting with online for sex in a vehicle with a specialty “Invest in Children” license plate, authorities said Tuesday…Saleem was also the Orlando regional coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations…
He attended the University of Central Florida, where he was President of the Muslim Students Association. He later became the MSA National Service Director before founding the Saleem Academy.
Update 4: Middle Tennessee State University added to the list:
- Dareen Ahmad, leading active member in the university’s Muslim Student Association, tweeted: “…we need a new Hitler”
- Dana Swaies, a well-known representative for the school’s MSA chapter stated: “May Allah annihilate the Jewish dogs”
- Shaden Hamdulla contemplated putting Jews in concentration camps and called for a new Hitler to wipe them out
Update 5: Abdul Kareem Saeed Alkady – Twitter jihadi
Update 6: This list just got a lot longer. CANADA: Biographies of MSA Alumni with Terrorism Connections (excerpts only, full description at the link)
Awso Peshdary: Ottawa born accused terrorist Awso Peshdary was arrested in February 2015 as part of operation ‘Project Servant’ by the RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET). He was charged with participation in the activity of a terrorist group
Khadar Khalib (aka AbdulBaqi Hanif): Grew up in Ottawa and later moved with his family to Calgary. Khalib was a member of the Algonquin College MSA. It is believed he was radicalized by Awso Peshdary. According to the RCMP, Khalib travelled to Syria in late March 2014 with the alleged assistance of Peshdary and former University of Ottawa business student John Maguire, who was already in Syria at the time. Khalib is now believed to be in Syria fighting with the Islamic State, therefore he was charged by the RCMP in abstentia in February 2015. Weeks before Khalib left for Syria, both he and Peshdary took part in Islam Awareness Week on Algonquin College’s Woodroffe Avenue campus, which was sponsored by the MSA.
John “Yahya” Maguire: Grew up in Kemptville, ON. He received a scholarship to study in Los Angeles in 2010 and returned to Canada enrolling at the University of Ottawa in 2011, at which point friends claimed he had already begun making extremist claims, and became involved with the university’s MSA. He joined IS in 2012, travelling to Syria on a one-way ticket, and posted a propaganda video in 2014. He was charged in abstentia with participating in a terrorist group in Syria, Iraq and Turkey, and conspiring with a terrorist network in Ottawa. He was reportedly killed in battle, but no official agency has confirmed his death.
Ahmed Said Khadr: Born in Egypt, Khadr moved with his family to Montreal in 1975, and then to Toronto several months later. He enrolled at the University of Ottawa, studying engineering. While there he joined the MSA, agreeing with their notions of Sharia law, and became a vocal advocate for Islamic rule in his native Egypt. …Khadr was killed on October 2, 2003, along with al-Qaeda and Taliban members, in a shootout by Pakistani security forces near the Afghanistan border. An al-Qaeda website profiling “120 Martyrs of Afghanistan” described him as a leader of Bin Laden’s organization and praised him for “tossing his little child [Omar] in the furnace of the battle.”
Salman Ashrafi: Originally from Pakistan but raised in Calgary, Ashrafi was enrolled at the University of Lethbridge, where he completed a bachelor degree in management. During his university years, Ashrafi started to practice Islam in a more serious manner and became heavily involved with Islamic activism in the campus, serving as president of the MSA. Following graduation, he worked at Calgary’s Talisman energy for one year before quitting in 2012, and flying to the Persian Gulf. He blew himself up in November 2013 in a double suicide bombing at an Iraqi military base, reportedly killing 46 people on behalf of ISIS, using the nom de guerre Abu Abdullah al-Khorasani.
Chiheb Esseghaier: A Tunisian national and scientist, who was a doctoral student with a research arm at the Université du Québec at the time of his arrest. Esseghaier admitted to “La Presse” in an interview to only becoming immersed in religion after arriving at the University of Sherbrooke, when he read books and websites about Islam and joined the local chapter of the MSA, and began attending a local Mosque. He was charged with plotting an attack on a VIA rail train in the Niagara region, and did not deny the charges, stressing that there is “no shortage of reasons” to launch a terrorist attack on North America.
Ferid Imam: University of Manitoba student who served as the local chapter of the MSA’s president. He is wanted by the RCMP on terrorism related charges following a four-year investigation.
Imam has also been charged in the foiled al-Qaeda plot against New York City subways.
Khaled al-Qazzaz: Khaled al-Qazzaz was born on July 3, 1979 in Cairo, Egypt. He moved to Toronto in 2000 to do a Masters in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Toronto, where he met his wife, Sarah Attia. He served as the UTSG MSA President in 2002-2003.…
He was taken in a wave of arrests alongside several other top Muslim Brotherhood aides after a military coup toppled the government on July 3, 2013. After spending 18 months in prison, he was released by Egyptian authorities in January 2015.
Maiwand Yar: Born in Pakistan in 1983, Yar is a former student of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manitoba, and was the local MSA chapter’s treasurer. According to the RCMP, in 2007, it is believed that Yar departed Canada with accomplice Ferid Ahmed Imam for Pakistan. Yar is being sought on charges of conspiracy to participate in the activities of a terrorist group and participation in the activities of a terrorist group.
Muhannad al-Farekh: Born in Texas, al-Farekh grew up in the United Arab Emirates and was educated in Jordan. In Canada he lived with his grandmother in Winnipeg. He is a former business student at the University of Manitoba, who served as the office manager of that chapter’s MSA from 2005-2006. On April 2, 2015, an arrest warrant for Muhannad al-Farekh was unsealed after an RCMP investigation. The allegations against al-Farekh date back to 2007. It was then that he disappeared to Pakistan along with University of Manitoba colleagues Farid Imam and Maiwand Yar. Though both Imam and Yar were charged in 2011 with terrorism offences following an RCMP national security investigation called Project Darken, al-Farekh was only indicted in April 2015. The criminal complaint accused him of travelling “to Pakistan to join al-Qaida” and helping a terrorist group targeting American citizens and military personnel.
Omar Kalair: President and CEO of United Muslims (UM) Financial, Kalair is wanted by the RCMP with respect to a sharia banking fraud investigation. Videos of previous RIS (Reviving the Islamic Spirit) conventions available on YouTube show that UM Financial sponsored the Toronto Islamist convention in 2005 and 2006. A profile of Omar Kalair posted on a Wilfrid Laurier University alumni’s website indicates that, during his years as an Economics student, “Kalair founded the Muslim Students’ Association [MSA] and remained its President for four years.”
There are many others with links to MSA in the TSEC expose.
Update 7: Al Qaeda’s Base at MIT
MIT Muslim chaplain Suheil Laher used his leadership of the MIT Muslim Students Association as a vehicle for raising money for Al Qaeda causes around the world. We especially focus on the Al Qaeda affiliate in Chechnya, which Laher and his associates lionized, even as MIT trusted him to be its Muslim students’ spiritual guide.
While at MIT, Laher did not hide his Islamist views. His personal website at the time featured attacks on Jews, Christians, and kuffar (non-believers):
The kuffar, including the Jews and Christians, can never become our intimate friends, confidantes or close allies.
His personal website also declared: “[T]he only solution prescribed by Allah is jihad.”
If anyone knows of other MSA jihadists, let us know and we’ll update the list.